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THE 



ST^HDD MflGHZIDE 



$Jn Illustrated Jffonthly 



EDITED BY 



GEORGE NEWNES 



Vol. VI I L 

JULY TO DECEMBER 



SLonfcon: 

GEORGE NEWNES, LTD., 8, 9, 10, & 11, SOUTHAMPTON STREET. 
AND EXETER STREET, STRAND 

1894 



The Croissey Yew. 



From the French of Maurice Saint- Aguet, 







fo^Sjfo, 



I. 

AM going to tell you, mon- 
sieur, why I come every even- 
ing to smoke my pipe under 
the Croissey Yew. 

My story goes back to the 
end of the year 1812. Brought 
up by an old uncle, the cure of a neighbour- 
ing village, having already a footing in the 
Pope's army, I had escaped the requisitions 
of the Emperor ; as an ecclesiastic the con- 
scription had spared me. But almost at the 
same time my old uncle died, and the worthy 
man, from having given all he possessed to 
the poor, even to the shirt off his back, had 
nothing to leave to his nephew but the 
poverty from which he had drawn others. 
There was I, then, at twenty, free, alone in 
the world, without means, and full of disgust 
at my calling, undecided as to all others ; 
in short, in that state in which one is at the 
mercy of mere chance. 

I have told you that I loved to dream, 
while waiting for the means of living ; and I 
often came to this spot to rebuild the "Chateau 
en Espagne " I had reared the night before, 
and which had crumbled in the interval. 
But I had wearied of standing at the foot of 
this colossal yew- 
tree which covers 
in and freezes us 
with its shade, and 
which stands on 
the edge of the 
precipice expressly 
to shelter the spec- 
tator, and I had 
established a sort 
of dwelling - place 
in its branches, 
where I succeeded 
in making myself 
believe that I was 
isolated like an 
eagle on the watch, 
and secure from 
discovery as the 
most confirmed 
misanthrope or 
dullest philosopher 
could desire to be. 
One evening I 
was at my post. 

Vol. viii -16. 



The moon was rising. Suddenly I heard 
something below me : it was the voice, or 
rather the sob, of a woman, saying : — 

"The last time !" 

Then I heard something which sounded 
to me extremely like a kiss, followed by the 
voice of a man, replying : — 

" Come, come, Louise ; a little courage ! " 

Another voice, that of a young girl, soft 
but decided, then said : — 

" No, no — not the last time — I will not 
have it so, I tell you ! " 

Considerably mystified by this stray frag- 
ment of conversation, I peered through the 
branches, and perceived in the moonlight a 
young man in the dress of a workman, 
having in his hat the bow of ribbons and 
the fatal number. He was sustaining with 
his right arm a young girl, who was weeping 
on his bosom, and giving his left hand to 
another and smaller girl, who was not weep- 
ing. It was she, doubtless, who had said : 
" I will not have it so." I quickly under- 
stood that it was the conscript's parting that 
was taking place. 

" Poor Christine," replied the young man, 
smiling sadly ; " your will goes for nothing 
in this matter, sister- -I am not the master." 




THE CONSCRIPT S PARTING. 



n6 



THE STRAND MAGAZINE. 



"But, brother, since it is you who have 
reared me, you are the father of the family ? 
You must not go away — besides, you are 
married, for you are betrothed to Louise — 
who does nothing but weep, as if that would 
do anything ! " 

And the pretty rebel, who appeared to be 
charming in the moonlight, fell to crying 
too. Louise replied in a voice broken by 
sobs : — 

" Christine — is unreasonable — isn't she, 
Eugene — unreasonable ? " 

" My poor dears ! " replied Eugene, 
tenderly, pressing them to his bosom. 

" Well, then, Louise," cried Christine, sud- 
denly, "prove to me the strength of your 
courage ! Since he will not listen to either 
of us — since he believes that we can do 
nothing for him — you see the quarry before 
us ; it is deep and goes straight down from 
the brink — come with me ! " 

And, completely losing her head, she took 
the hands of Louise and drew her from the 
arms of Eugene. 

" Are you both mad ? " cried Eugene. 
" Can't you see that I must go with the others 
to fight for France ? — for you ? — for the cross ? 
Louise, Christine, I shall return in eight years, 
and if I do not find my sister and my 
beloved one then, what will there be left for 
me ? Do you wish me also to kill myself? — 
that I should not have the memory of you in 
my heart, to make me fight like a lion, to 
bring you back a pair of epaulettes ? Let 
me go ; one only has to serve one's time, and 
all is said." 

" Oh ! his time ! " replied Christine. " There 
was Stephane, the mechanic, who went away 
with the others to Russia : he served his time 
— he died at Moscow — and his mother is in 
mourning for him. The others, will they 
ever come back ? His time ! with their dog 
of an emper " 

" Will you hold your tongue ? " interrupted 
Eugene, clapping his hand over her mouth. 

" No, I will not hold my tongue ! Haven't 
you a colonel — he who enrolled you ? Well, 
go to him, throw yourself on your knees 
before him and say, ' Monseigneur, I 
don't want to go with you — I don't want to be 
killed. I have a sister and a wife who can- 
not live without me, and who will throw 
themselves into the river if I am taken from 
them. Beat me, Colonel — put me in prison, 
but don't take me away for a soldier. Long 
live the Emperor ! — he's 9 worthy man ; let 
him leave me in peace and go wherever he 
likes. Look you, Colonel, I am a man, I am 
free, and I have no right to leave my sister 



Christine against her will — and she'll detest 
you, Colonel, if you compel me to go.'" 

" That would be pretty conduct on the 
part of a soldier ! " replied Eugene, who 
could not help laughing. 

" Unfeeling, cruel brother ! " she cried, in 
tears, throwing herself into the arms of 
Louise. 

II. 
A moment of silence followed. I was deeply 
touched— so absorbed in the situation, that I 
forgot my own. Presently Christine raised 
herself, and was apparently a little more calm. 

" Heavens ! " she said, " is there not a man 
■ — a comrade — who will replace you ? Others 
have means. Oh, how I would love him ! " 

" It could all be done as you say," assented 
Eugene, " only to do it we need money — 
and that by to-morrow." 

" Well," cried Christine, " I'll give all I 
have — my gold cross, my earrings, my neck- 
handkerchiefs, my lace collars, all my jewel- 
lery — to whoever will go in your place." 

" All that would not make the price of a 
man," replied Eugene. 

Christine reflected for a while, and then, 
seizing her brother's arm, said : — 

" But I — I am worth a man — more than a 
man ; I am sure I am ! I'll give myself ; I'll 
say to someone : ' Go instead of my brother, 
and I'll be your wife ! See ! I'm good- 
looking — a little over-petted, but that's no 
harm. I'll love you so dearly, if you save 
my brother ! — I swear it on the gold cross 
in which there is a lock of my mother's white 
hair ! I'll cheerfully marry whoever will 
devote himself for you.'" 

"Good sister, I know you would do all 
you say, but you are over-excited to-night, 
and do not see how utterly impracticable are 
all your dear follies. Let us get away from 
here," he added, laughingly, " for if you go 
on, I shall really become afraid of the 
precipice before us." 

I could not catch what Christine said in 
reply, and presently I lost sight of all three 
in the shadow of the trees ; but both my 
head and my heart remained filled with the 
charming girl, and I became lost in thought. 

That evening, as they were seated at their 
supper without being able to eat a morsel, 
and gazing at each other through their tears, 
somebody knocked loudly at the door. 

" Come in ! " cried the young man, hastily 
drying his eyes. 

An old sergeant appeared before them and 
said : — 

" Good evening ! Does the conscript 
Eugene Livou live here ? " 



THE CROISSEY YEW. 



117 




" DOES THE CONSCRIPT EUGENE LIVOU LIVE HERE It 

" Yes, sergeant." 

"That's for you, then," said the trooper, 
throwing a letter on the table. 

Eugene read, at first slowly, then devouring 
the contents. It was a release in form ! 

He looked up at the old soldier in bewilder- 
ment. 

" It says that you have been replaced, 
conscript— that's all. But I can't congratulate 
you — because a little gunpowder would have 
made your moustache sprout. Different 
people, different tastes — if you are satisfied, 
all's said. Good evening to you." 

He had turned to go, but stopped suddenly 
and cried : — 

" Thousand bullets ! I was forgetting half 
my errand. You have a sister — Mam'zelle 
Christine — where is she ? " 

" Here, sergeant," said Eugene, indicating 
Christine, pale with happiness and surprise. 

"This is for you, mam'zelle," and he threw 
a second letter on the table. 

" You'll drink a glass of wine, soldier ? " 
asked Eugene. 

" With all my heart, conscript." 

While Eugene was preparing to ask the 



old soldier a number of questions, 
Louise, out of her senses with joy, 
kissed her betrothed again and 
again, half crying, half laughing, 
while placing fresh bottles on the 
table and filling the glasses. 

Agitated, trembling, Christine 
sat, holding the letter and looking 
fixedly at the table. 

"What is the matter?" asked 
Eugene, anxiously. " It is that 
letter distresses you? Who has 
written to you ? Let me see it, 
dear." 

He hastily read the letter, which 
he had taken from her unresisting 
hands. 

" Read it aloud," she said ; " it 
is all the same to me — all the 
same ! " 

Eugene read out the letter : — 

" Mademoiselle, I demand 

nothing, I. go without making any 

condition, I replace your brother ; 

you have need of him, no one 

has any need of me. But I love 

you — have loved you ever since 

I saw your tears. I send you a 

ring which belonged to my 

mother. If you feel pity for me, 

you will take the cross containing 

a lock of your mother's white 

hair, which shone on your neck 

this evening in the light of the moon, 

and place it in a crack in the side of the 

great yew-tree, high up, near the branches. 

To-morrow morning I will go for it. You 

will wait for me two years, and, if I am not 

dead, I will bring it back to you. Will you 

remember that you have made an oath on 

that cross ? Adieu ! " 

" What does this mean ? How could any- 
body know ? " said Eugene, slowly. " Do 
you understand this, sergeant ? " 

" Oh ! a vedette near you ? Bah ! I 
have it ! it comes from a novice — a youth 
who knows how to write, but for want of 
practice, doesn't know how to tell a woman 
just what he means," replied the sergeant, 
laughing. 

Eugene shook his head. 
" Your hand, soldier," he said ; " I'll not 
accept this substitute — my sister shall not be 
sacrificed ; I'll go with you." 

And taking up his release he was about 
to tear it, when Christine stayed his hand. 

" But if I wish it ! " she said. " He has 
acted nobly. He is going away uncondi- 
tionally; he is unhappy. I have no other 



n8 



THE STRAND MAGAZINE. 



means of keeping him — and — and I wish to 
love him ! For the rest, he has done well 
not to show himself— perhaps I might too 
much have regretted it. I will take my 
cross, as he directs ; but I should like to 
know — Sergeant, have you seen him ? " 

"Yes, I've set eyes on him." 

" Well, he's not hunch-backed or bandy- 
legged, is he ? " 

" Thousand thunders ! Hunch-backs and 
bandy-legs in the French army ! " cried the 
sergeant, scandalized. 

" Is he a good fellow ? * asked Eugene. 

" That I can answer for," replied the old 
soldier, heartily. 

" Well, then," said Christine, detaching her 
cross with its black ribbon from her pretty 
neck, " tell him that what he has done was well 
done ; and, yourself, put this cross in the side 
of the great yew-tree. Do not tell him any- 
thing about it : but do not lose sight of him, 
and try and return with him ; he is worthy of 
you — he has begun as a brave man, and he 
will continue as a brave Frenchman." 

Eugene and Louise gazed at her without 
being able to speak. The grenadier rose, 
and received the cross, while tears sparkled 
in his eyes. 

Christine then turned towards her brother 
and future sister. She was no longer the 
same : her character had suddenly become 
serious. She said to Louise : — 

" I, too, am betrothed ; my pledge is in 
the hands of a soldier of the guard." 

Next morning, on setting off, my knapsack 
on my back, I found the cross hidden in the 
side of the yew-tree — and I fancied I saw 
amid the close-grown branches the uniform 
and red epaulettes of a sergeant of the guard 
who was watching me. 

III. 

A year later, the campaign of Saxony was 
finished : the campaign of France was going 
to begin. Eugene was married to Louise. 
The terrible requisition reached him as well 
as others, but this time he was not kept 
back. It was foreseen that the anxiety 
would not be of long duration ; and then it 
was so clearly evident that the defence of 
France was necessary ; lads ran away from 
their colleges to get to the frontier, and it 
would have been shameful in any man who, 
in default of a sword, had not seized up his 
ploughshare, shameful in the woman who 
still hung upon the arm of that man. 

Eugene went this time, and joined the 
army in Champagne. At the bridge of 
Montereau, after having long fought at the 



outposts, he found himself without cartridges, 
and was defending himself as ^well as he 
could with his short infantry sabre against 
five Austrian grenadiers, when a lieutenant 
of carabineers sprang before him, crying : — 

" Conscript, go and find your sister and 
your wife ; leave those to die who have 
nothing to live for ! " 

And the lieutenant cut down two white- 
coats with his long sabre. But his horse 
received a bayonet stab and fell under him. 
He received two others and fell also. A 
French fusillade laid low the three men of 
the enemy ; and Eugene, who had sprung to 
the body of his rescuer, carried him to a 
neighbouring house and brought him back 
to life. 

The soldier and the officer became friends 
and brothers in arms ; but the soldier could 
not understand the devotion of the officer,' 
nor the sense of the words that had accom- 
panied it. He was but the more proud, the 
more fascinated ; and then, the officer was so 
fond of him and spoke to him so kindly, 
that he was wholly at a loss how to repay so 
much goodness. When, at the end of the 
drama, the armies were disbanded, he said 
to him :- — 

" Lieutenant, if you have neither father, 
children, nor family — if you are alone in the 
world — come to my home. I am only a 
workman, but my people will be very fond of 
you. I have a good wife and a pretty sister 
■ — you hear what I am saying, Monsieur 
Charles ? You will not disdain my family, 
even if you do not consent to make part of 
it ? At least you will not deny me the 
pleasure of showing them my preserver." 

The lieutenant could only throw himself 
on Eugene's neck and thank him warmly. A 
week afterwards, Eugene, stifled in the 
embraces of Louise and Christine, tore him- 
self free from their arms and, pointing to the 
friend he had brought home with him, 
cried : — 

" Here is a brave man who saved my life 
without knowing me, and exposed his own 
because he had no family to weep for his 
death ; but now he has one ! He is my 
brother ; he has said that he will not disdain 
my home-— let it be his ! We will work 
together, and, some day, perhaps, we shall 
be rich and my house more worthy of a 
lieutenant." 

"A lieutenant !" cried Christine, involun- 
tarily. 

" Sister," whispered Eugene, " this one is 
worth more than the other." 

Christine cast down her eyes and looked 



THE CROISSEY YEW. 



119 



furtively at the officer. He was not ill-look- 
ing ; his epaulettes, his wounds received for 
a dear brother, and, above all, his determined 
efforts to please Christine and' prove to 
Eugene that he did not despise his family, 
resulted, at the end of two months, in causing 
her to appear thoughtful, while blushes 
suffused her cheeks in answer to the ex- 
pressive looks of Charles ; at which signs 
Eugene smiled. 

One day he took his friend and his sister 
apart. 

" I am very happy," he said. " You love 
my sister, Charles ? " 

" I love her," replied the lieutenant, gazing 
on Christine, pleadingly. 

" Do you love him, sister? " 

"Yes." 

" More than you love me ? " 

" In a different way," she answered, simply. 

Imagine my delight, monsieur ! for I was 
the lieutenant. I who 
had repented of having 
engaged the young girl's 
promise, and had wished 
to die, so as to release 
her from it. I who longed 
to win her free and volun- 
tary love ! I fell on my 
knees before her. 

" Will you be his wife, 
Christine?" asked 
Eugene. 

" No," she replied, 
sadly, but firmly ; " no, I 
have given my promise to 
another. I am betrothed." 

" Folly ! " cried Eugene. 
" Betrothed ! — to a man 
you have never even seen 
■ — who asks nothing of 
you — who is ugly, per- 
haps, and as old as I 
am ? — a man, in short, 
who has never cared to 
show himself, and who 
by this time is dead, no 
doubt ! " 

"Dead! If so, he died 
for you, Eugene. Have 
you forgotten the year of 
happiness you owe to 
him, of which I am the 
price? The bargain is 
sacred. If he is dead, the pledge returns to 
me, and I will wear mourning for him as for 
a husband. If he is not dead, I will wait." 

" But have not the two years passed ? " 

" Though that may be, I will still wait for 




NO, SIR, i'm not dead!" 



him who, poor and friendless, trusted in my 
promise. Oh, no, let him come; let him 
return me my gold cross — and, if he pleases, 
set me free ! " 

Eugene was losing patience, but I restrained 
him by a gesture. I was still kneeling at 
Christine's feet. 

" Christine, Eugene," I said, " it is time 
that you should know all. It was I, my 
friend, who replaced you ; I who, hidden 
in the great yew-tree, overheard your tearful 
parting ; I who accepted Christine's pledge ; 
I who love her and who ask her, on my 
knees, to restore to me my mother's ring." 

" You ! you ! " they both cried at once. 
Christine had already drawn from her bosom 
the ring and the letter inclosing it; but 
suddenly she paused. 

" Do not deceive me," she cried. " Can it 

be possible ? Ah, you have agreed together, 

you and my brother ! He has told you the 

secret ! Where is my gold 

cross ? " 

"What !" I exclaimed, 
" do you refuse to believe 
me ? Is not my voice that 
of truth ? — my soldier's 
word ? " 

" The cross ! the 
cross ! " she repeated. 

"I have it not," I 
replied, sadly. " I have 
it no more ! It was the 

old sergeant " 

" Where is he ? " asked 
Christine. 

" He is dead — he died 
at Leipsic," I replied, 
hopelessly. 

" No — thousand thun- 
ders ! — I'm not dead," 
cried a voice behind us ; 
" and I've arrived just in 
the nick of time, or I'm 
a Prussian ! Lieutenant, 
don't you recognise 
me?" 

" What ! you are still 
living ? " I cried, throwing 
my arms about him. 

" As you can see for 
yourself ! I've come 
from the hospitals at 
Leipsic; but while I've 
been grunting there — thousand bombshells ! 
— changes have been going on, it seems. 
The Little Corporal — but enough of that for 
the present ; we'll talk about it some other 
time. What we've got to deal with is 



THE STRAND MAGAZINE. 



Monsieur Charles's affair. Look at him, 
mam'zelle — though he had not courage to 
speak to you under his Jesuit's cassock, he 
knew how to fight under his tonsure. I saw 
him slip your cross out of the old yew-tree, 
kiss it, and put it under his uniform — where I 
have mine now ; but that's not the same 
thing. I followed him everywhere. He went 
under fire — thousand cartridges ! — as if he 
were entering a ball-room ! At Dresden, 
owing to his education and his dare-devilry, 
he was made a sub-lieutenant. At Leipsic, 
in a tussle on the bridge, I saw him dash 
right upon the crowd of white-coats, and I 
said to .myself : 'What is he about? Does 
he want to get himself wiped off the roll ? ' 
Then I took the liberty of laying hold of the 
tail of his coat, and saying to him : 
' Lieutenant, are you forgetting that you have 
a pledge to return to somebody — down 
yonder ? ' 

" That told him that I knew all about the 



to France — they have need of one 
another ! ' I wished to take an oath ; but, 
bah ! he was gone. As for myself, I got 
jammed between a gun-carriage and the 
parapet of the bridge ; and that laid me up 
in bed for eleven months, with a dozen 
poultices to keep me company. But here I 
am, at last, and — no disrespect to my lieu- 
tenant — I find him still a bit of a conscript 
where women are in the case." 

" How could I win her trust in me ? " I 
said, looking beseechingly at Christine. 

" Forgive me," she cried, throwing herself 
into my arms ; " forgive me for having been 
too faithful to you ! I will love you twice as 
much." 

" The cross ! the cross ! " cried Eugene, 
mimicking her voice. 

" Here it is ! " replied the old sergeant, 
delightedly. 

Christine took it with transport, and, 
holding it, between our kisses said to me : — 




"lieutenant, are you forgetting: 



business, and he said to me : ' I've seen you 
somewhere — yes, I remember. Here is the 
pledge you speak of. Take it to Croissey ; 
it weighs on my conscience. I have no 
friends, and I would not tempt fate by buy- 
ing a wife — I leave that to the Turks. To 
give her back her liberty I am going 
to get myself killed. Fly ! Save your- 
self ! Let the old moustaches return 



" May it render them sacred ! " 

We are now old married people. The 
sergeant died at Waterloo. Eugene and I 
have prospered by labour : we conduct the 

manufactures of M. de V ; we live in 

the little white and rose coloured house you 
see in the midst of the foliage of the island 
yonder, and every evening I come to smoke 
my pipe under the Croissey Yew. 



Wonderland in America. 

By Mrs. Fenwick Miller. 




HERE is a corner of the 
earth — only a corner, though 
it is some sixty square miles 
in extent — where Nature 
seems to have resolved to 
leave for our inspection a 
sample of the way in which our globe was 
made into the world in which we have to 
live to-day. Moreover, this show of her 
marvellous methods might have been 
organized by the late Mr. Barnum, so 
well is it laid out to keep up the interest 
of the visitor, and to show him ever new and 
constantly greater marvels. This is Nature's 
own arrangement, and not the artfulness of 
the surveyors who made the forest clearings 
that they are pleased to call roads. Geo- 
graphically inevitable is it that one finds 
increasing marvels as one goes on, till the 
wonders of the beginning are presently looked 
back upon as comparatively small matters. 
But in memory the whole fuses into one 
gigantic Wonderland. 

It is called " Yellowstone Park," from the 
chief river that flows through it, and after- 
wards passes down to fall into the great 
Missouri. This river was named the " Yel- 
lowstone," from the singular colour of the 
clay that washes down with it and stains its 
waters, and when the Wonderland was visited 
first, the explorers kept along the river's bed 



for their guide, and named the whole region 
after it. 

That first formal exploration took place 
only a matter of some twenty years ago. A 
few trappers had previously penetrated these 
recesses, and returned to tell tales that 
were jeered at by the incredulous hearers. 
But it was not till 1870 that the first 
exploring party, headed by the Surveyor- 
General of Montana, went through and 
prepared a formal report of its marvels. 
The Park is situated in the extreme north- 
west corner of Wyoming, and is at so high 
an altitude that the climate is bitterly cold 
during most of the year, so that the land 
can never be cultivated. As it could not 
be utilized in that way, the United States 
Government resolved, on the report of the 
Surveyor, to reserve it for show purposes, and 
it was forthwith declared national property. 
Rules were made for its protection, and a party 
of cavalry was detailed to police it permanently. 
Moreover, the Government proceeded to 
make more or less effective roads through it, 
and it can now be visited with both safety and 
comfort. It is nearly four days' journey from 
New York — three days' from Chicago — but 
there are dining-cars and sleeping-cars on the 
two excellently managed railways over which 
the journey is made direct, the Wisconsin 
Central from Chicago to St. Paul, and the 




[Photograph. 



THE STRAND MAGAZINE. 



Northern Pacific from there to the beginning 
of the Park ; and in the Park itself there is a 
company which provides coaches and hotels, 
and which takes possession of the traveller, 
and conveys him from stage to stage of the 
show. 

The first item on the programme is 
remarkable enough. In a wide valley, sur- 
rounded on every hand by tall and distant 
mountains, one comes upon a space of 
several acres covered by what at first sight 
seems to be a collection of low cliffs or rocks 
of chalk, shining brilliantly white under the 
fierce sun of the land. But the singular 
forms of these rocks demand closer inspec- 
tion ; for they are arranged as a series of ter- 
races, rising one above another like wide steps 
in some places, 
while in others it 
is as though the 
w r aves of a mighty 
sea had been sud- 
denly petrified, 
and only a few- 
runlets of foam 
had trickled over 
before being 
frozen in place as 
they dropped. On 
making one's way 
up to and over 
them, one finds 
that the rocks are 
not so solid and 
hard as chalk, but 
are softer and 
more friable, and 
also that in many 

parts they are being soaked with water that 
slowly trickles down from the top of the 
whole " formation." Pursuing the flow of 
moisture on to its source, one comes, 
at the summit of each particular "forma- 
tion," to a more or less large pool, 
constantly overflowing, because constantly 
replenished from the spring beneath ; 
and the cloud of vapour that lingers over 
its whole surface, no less than the curious 
varieties of colours that surround the edges 
and tell of chemical deposits, makes us aware 
that this is no common pool. How should 
it be so, situated so strangely on the summit 
of a rock ? It is, in fact, a large hot spring 
— not quite boiling, but so hot that, like the 
clever child who put down the red-hot poker 
without waiting to be told, the venturous 
visitor pulls out promptly the testing finger 
that he inevitably inserts. Yes, these are hot 
springs ; and they have made all the rocks 



or " formations " that you see. The water 
rises from the earth at nearly boiling point, 
and thus, holding in solution a great deal of 
lime and other chemical matter, which is 
deposited as the water cools in the air, 
forms the curious rock-like shapes and 
terraces that are all around. 

The whole covers over 1 70 acres, and there 
are thirteen distinct terraces. One that 
particularly impressed me was a ridge 
nicknamed " The Elephant's Back," scarce 
wider than the summit of Jumbo's person, 
and about thirty feet long. There are 
about a hundred little openings along 
this ridge of rock, out of each of which 
a tiny but fierce spurt of boiling water 
is violently thrusting itself in a furious 




" GOLDEN GATE. 



[Photograph. 



effort to get free and out to the light, 
the water from each spreading over the 
surface already made, and there depositing 
more and ever more of the lime that itself 
serves to obstruct the further passage of the 
water that holds it, by depositing it for build- 
ing up the terrace. Here for the first time I 
felt the sensation — afterwards renewed more 
strongly in other parts of the region — that 
the wild struggle of a mighty force to over- 
come a resistance made the ground unsafe 
beneath my feet — that it was only a question 
of time when a great convulsion must occur, 
and that that time might be now — in short, 
the comfortable conviction of standing on 
solid earth is seriously disturbed under such 
conditions, and a respectful uncertainty takes 
its place. Science has taught me before now 
that I live on a crust of soil over mighty subter- 
ranean fires and fierce internal commotions ; 
but I have been hitherto where the crust was 



WONDERLAND IN AMERICA. 



thick, and have not realized the solemnity of 
the truth. Here, the crust is a shell, and is 
pierced often enough to give a glimpse of the 
interior. It is disquieting to peep like this 
behind the merciful veil that covers in 
Nature's mysterious and awful processes ; 
and worse is to come. 

Some twenty-two miles farther on is the 
first of the geyser valleys or basins. It is 
reached by a road that is for the most part a 
monotonous pas- 
sage through 
rows of tall and 
gloomy pine 
trees, but that 
has its diversities 
to prevent the 
traveller getting 
dull. There is a 
wonderful piece 
of road-making, 
to begin with, 
where the Go- 
vernment spent 
£3,500 in blast- 
ing a single mile 
of road out of 
the solid rock. 
They have left a 
tall splinter of 
the rock at one 
end, in order to 
show where the 
whole was at one 
time, and this is 
called the 
"Golden Gate," 
because the face 
of that tall cliff 
is all lined and 
streaked with 
yellow as though 
it were the quartz 
of gold. 

At last, after a 
drive of nearly 
four hours from 
the Mammoth 
Hot Springs, we 
reach the first 

geysers. It is a singular scene. Imagine 
a large field, fringed by a row of stunted 
and half-dead pines, the ground consisting 
of a dull white rock, and all over its surface, 
at frequent points, puffs of steam rising as 
though from the mouths of chimneys belong- 
ing to subterranean engines. As you look, 
suddenly a stream of water rises high in the 
air from a spot in the midst of the field. It 




From a] 



lasts for some twenty seconds, and then dis- 
appears, but while yet you are gazing at 
the spot it darts up again, only to vanish 
once more as soon as before. This is the 
" Minute Geyser," that goes off as regularly 
every sixty seconds as though the subter- 
ranean engineer in charge were provided 
with a chronometer of excellent construction. 
The pool from which this eruption takes 
place is twenty-four feet in diameter, and the 

water is throwra 
some forty feet 
in the air. 

This is almost- 
certain to be the 
first geyser that 
the visitor sees., 
and for th.afc 
reason the im- 
pression that it 
makes is strong:. 
But it is by com- 
parison wiitxhi 
many others- a is 
insignificant one. 
There are fifty or 
more geysers at 
different points 
in the Park — in 
most cases a 
cluster of them is 
found together, 
though there are 
a few solitary 
ones — and 
amongst these 
there are all pos- 
sible differences. 
Size, shape, time 
of going off, man- 
ner of perform- 
ing, are different 
in each case. 
Some act with 
clockwork regu- 
larity ; others 
have only beers 
seen at work by 
dint of long-con- 
tinued watching. 
Amongst tne regular performers there is 
every possible variation as to the time of 
repose that they require. I hardly know 
which is the more surprising fact — that suctla 
convulsions should be regular or that they 
should be erratic ; but certainly either is 
extremely astonishing to contemplate. 

Near to the " Minute " is one more im- 
pressive in its ways. You look down into a 



[Photograph. 



124 



THE STRAND MAGAZINE. 



large hole, some twenty or twenty-two feet in 
circumference ; the interior and all round the 
edges is lined by a black, rocky "formation," 
from which the geyser is named the " Devil's 
Inkpot"; his Satanic Majesty, traditionally 
having the management of subterranean fires, 
naturally plays a considerable part in the 
nomenclature of this region. The water in 
the depths of the hole, however, is not black 
as ink, but only like soapsuds in a laundress's 
£ub, a dirty bluish white. As you stand and 
watch, the water is gradually and quietly 
rising in the hole before you ; slowly it mounts 
Jtill the pit is full to the brim. 

Then with startling suddenness there is a 



minutes the whole performance will be 
repeated. 

But perhaps even more awe-inspiring than 
the geysers are those spots where steam 
escapes continuously and violently from a 
cleft in the earth, and as you stand beside it, 
terrible noises incessantly going on beneath 
your feet warn you of the struggle that the 
imprisoned power is waging against the 
superincumbent earth. To see so compara- 
tively little and to hear so much impresses 
the imagination even more than the visible 
escape of the force. Not far from the 
" Inkpot " there is such an escape valve of a 
mighty invisible engine. Through a narrow 




" devil's inkpot.' 



[Photograph. 



leap in its centre — a pause, and then a series 
of jumps like violent boiling ; and then the 
whole volume of water springs fiercely in the 
air with a hissing noise, and a cloud of hot 
jaiteam around it, while all around the edges 
•waves wash far out of the pool, flooding over 
the black "formation" that they, in fact, 
laave deposited on previous occasions. This 
-wild outburst lasts some five minutes, and 
then, all at once, the central commotion stops, 
and the water runs away down into the hole, 
exactly as though a gigantic mouth beneath 
■were sucking it in. A dozen of those wild 
aspirations of the unseen drinker, and behold ! 
the water has sunk down into the hole so 
far that only by leaning over can you catch 
a distant glimpse of its sullen, gleaming sur- 
face in the depths of the pit. Yet in twenty 



slit torn in the earth the "Black Growler" 
pushes high into the air, without ceasing for 
an instant, a cloud of boiling hot steam, the 
hissing with which it is ejected being only 
an accompaniment to the horrid noises of 
rumbling and howling and growling that are 
making the earth under you shiver. Yet, so 
cold is the region where these exhibitions of 
the power of heat are going on, that when I 
was there, on June igth, the bank of earth 
and "formation" that backs the "Growler" 
still had upon it a snow-drift some three feet 
thick, and the road in many parts was flanked 
by snow heaps. These, by the way, formed 
a great object of interest to two Californian 
men who were on the same coach with me. 
Born and brought up in that happy " Garden 
State," they had only seen snow falling two or 



WONDERLAND IN AMERICA. 



125 



three times in their lives, and had never seen 
it lying on the ground. They ran about in it 
.and played snow-ball with each other with 
.great glee. 

That the danger of being amidst such 
•convulsions of Nature in the Yellowstone is 
not only a matter of imagination is proved 
by what is to be seen a short distance off 
from the " Growler," just through the belt 
•of trees, viz., the " New Crater," which 
suddenly burst 
forth from a 
previously placid 
spot only three 
years ago. Huge 
blocks of stone 
and rock were 
flung forth with 
mighty force, and 
lie about in con- 
fusion, as though 
Titans had 
fought with mis- 
siles there ; and 
the torn and rent 
earth, not yet 
covered up and 
concealed by the 
deposit of " for- 
mation," as it 
will be centuries 
hence, shows 
that there is 
some risk atten- 
dant on being 
amidst such 
scenes. 

The multitude 
of boiling pools, 
the varieties of 
<c formation " 
around them — 
according to the 
chemical ele- 
ment that pre- 
dominates in the 
water — the 
various colours 
of the water 
dependent on 

the same cause, and the odours that many 
of the hot springs emit, make up a startlingly 
interesting scene. Yet this geyser basin sinks 
into insignificance after one has seen the 
more varied and splendid displays of more 
distant parts of the region. 

A drive of some twenty miles more, passing 
on the way numerous hot springs, skirting a 
river that at one point develops a beautiful 




OLD FAITHFUL GEYSER. 



fall, over mountain passes, and through forests 
of pine, and we arrive at the next great 
geyser valley or basin. It is some thirty 
square miles in extent, and contains seven- 
teen geysers and about seven hundred boiling 
springs. The principal geyser there is the 
" Fountain," which springs from an opening 
thirty feet in diameter, and plays irregularly, 
every two to four hours. 

This is one of the quietest and most 
pleasing of the 
geysers. Like a 
tamed tiger, 
it may be per- 
haps a dangerous 
plaything, but it 
conceals its 
power of ferocity 
and only reveals 
its strength as 
supple beauty. 
The main body 
of the water only 
rises about 
fifteen feet, so 
as not to alarm 
you, but beauty 
is secured at the 
same time by the 
constant flinging 
up of fine jets 
to some sixty 
feet ; the effect 
is light and 
beautiful, as the 
sunshine catches 
the dancing jets 
and the spray 
and light steam- 
clouds above the 
mass of rising 
water. 

Ten miles 
farther on again 
is the chief 
geyser basin, the 
valley where the 
largest number 
of the geysers 
and the most 
powerful and most regularly acting pheno- 
mena are found. It is a singular spot — a 
large bare field about a mile long and half a 
mile wide, with a river running through its 
midst, its surface irregularly dotted with 
the strangely-shaped cones and " formations " 
of the numerous geysers, and eternal clouds 
of steam hovering over it. 

Of the many geysers here, no fewer than 



[Photograph. 



126 



THE STRAND MAGAZINE. 



seventeen are large and important enough to 
be worth naming and describing separately, 
but of course no visitor sees them all, for 
some act only at long intervals, such as the 
" Giantess," which takes fourteen days' repose 
after performing ; and others are utterly 
irregular and spasmodic in their habits. 
But on the other hand, here is situated one 
of the most beautiful of its kind, which is so 
good as to play with perfect regularity. 

Every sixty-five minutes, night and day, 
summer and win- 
ter, this fine dis- 
play is given. The 
water slowly rises 
in the open throat 
of the deep cleft 
in the rock ; and 
when it is nearly 
full, suddenly the 
fountain is flung 
high into the air, 
a full, bright, shim- 
mering stream 
rising to a height 
of one hundred 
and twenty-five feet 
or more, the main 
body of it being 
two feet in diame- 
ter, though the 
steam that floats 

up makes it look far higher, and that which 
is blown around gives added width beyond 
the actual water. 

So great is the force with which this geyser 
rushes up that there is none of the jumping 
effect of a fountain; the tall column of water 
seems to stand stationary in the air for the 
full period of four minutes, and then, with 
only two or three gasps of hesitation, it falls 
down altogether. It is a truly glorious sight. 
The unworthy name given to this brilliant 
and powerful performer is " Old Faithful," 
in allusion to its regularity of action. 

But to me the most impressive and awe- 
inspiring of all the geysers that I saw was 
the " Grotto." Its " formation " or cone 
has a singular shape — two rocky caves such 
as one might seek a witch within, and a tall 
central column standing up isolated between 
the two openings, like a stone for sacrifice — an 
unholy altar. As you pass it when it is in 
repose, there is no trace of what it is ; no 
water around, no steam, but just the deep, 
dark, mysterious holes and the tall, suggestive 
pillar. Then to return to it, and to find it all 
a scene of wild commotion, violent hissing, 
and roaring sounds, clouds of steam so thick 



that only as the wind stirs them can you see 
through them, a rush of water all around, 
and at the centre the strong, fierce dash of 
wide column after column of water out of 
each hole, meeting in the centre over the tall 
pillar, grappling above it, each stream thrown 
foaming over it to seek refuge in the other 
side, and then flung back by striking 
against the rival outrush from the other 
side, the water flung twenty feet high, and 
the spray of the wild contest far higher, 




From a] 



GROTTO GEYSER. 



[Photograph. 



is like watching a combat of Titans : 
it brings confused but vivid fancies of 
all that has gone to make the earth, the days 
when such combats and terrors of Nature 
were at work all over the round globe ; and 
one holds one's breath in presence of such 
overwhelming, uncontrollable force. 

I have done with the geysers now ; but 
before we travel away, some reader may care 
to be told what is the theory of science as 
to their method of action. In the first place, 
it is clear that either the crust of the earth 
is here thinner above the heated interior, 
or, what is another way of stating the same 
idea, the heated rocks of the centre of the 
globe are there nearer the surface than in 
most places. To them descends the water of 
the rains and the melting snows. It gathers 
their heat, it forms steam. This steam gets 
into the tube which some previous explosion 
of steam has formed and which has since 
naturally become a gathering -place for the 
lateral drainage of the earth. 

Most people know that the boiling point 
of water differs at various elevations, owing 
to the different pressure of the air, which is 
heavier at the bottom of the ocean of air in 



WONDERLAND IN AMERICA. 



127 



which we live than it is on mountains, and 
grows progressively lighter or heavier as we 
ascend or descend in altitude. Very well : 
the steam generated far below, seeking an 




'rom a] 



" GRAND CANYON." 



[Photograph. 



outlet, gradually ascends the geyser tube 
under the surface of the earth, and pushes 
up the hot water in the tube above it, till the 
water is raised to that level in the tube where 
the air-pressure is reduced enough to make it 
boil at the heat which it possesses. Then 
it boils suddenly, and so produces a tre- 
mendous new pressure of steam at that point, 
which, in its effort to escape, flings all the 
water above it out of the hole, and keeps 
doing so till the steam of the interior is 
exhausted, when there is a pause until it is 
again generated, and the process is repeated. 
After leaving this last of the great geyser 
basins, the Yellowstone traveller goes on to a 
lake, a pretty one, but dependent for exciting 
interest in those who have seen the Swiss and 
English lakes on the rather poor grounds 
that it is the highest lake in America, and 
that, though its waters are cold, there are 
hot springs in such close proximity that a 
fisherman can catch a fish in the lake, 
and without moving from his standing- 
place can turn round on his own axis 
and boil that fish in a hot pool, which will 
prepare it for eating in fifteen minutes. Hot 
springs have by this time, however, become 
so commonplace to us that we are rather 



surprised, and perhaps a little injured, to find 
any water that is cold. 

Eighteen miles more, and we arrive at the 
last and not the least interesting feature of 

this remarkable 
excursion. It is 
a deep, long 
gorge, ravine, or, 
as they call it 
here, " canyon," 
that is unsur- 
passed for mag- 
nificence. It is 
some twelve to 
fifteen hundred 
feet deep, and 
the soft stone of 
which the sides 
are composed is 
worn into a thou- 
sand fantastic 
shapes. Here it 
is turreted and 
pinnacled like a 
Gothic temple, 
there rounded 
into the semblance of an ancient 
castle, or sculptured like a huge Egyptian 
statue against the face of the rocks. The 
Yellowstone River runs through the gorge, 
and looking along it one sees the spot at its 
entrance where the river plunges over a 
central layer of rock in a great cataract three 
hundred and sixty feet high — -more than 
twice the height of Niagara Falls, but much 
narrower. But the true marvel and attraction 
of the great canyon is the wondrous, the 
incredible colouring of the rocks. It is 
more like a sunset spread at one's feet than 
anything else to which I can compare it. 
There are tracks of creamy white ; layers of 
palest yellow shading through all tints to the 
deepest orange ; reds and browns of all 
tones. These hues are mixed and mingled 
amongst the fantastic shapes, so that one 
hardly knows whether to be silent in amaze- 
ment or to smile at the bizarre and unnatural 
spectacle, so like a showman's arrangement. 
But it is too huge and too mighty and too 
essentially grand to be smiled at ; and one 
tears oneself reluctantly from the dizzy 
height at last, feeling, like the Queen of 
Sheba about Solomon's glory, that " the half 
cannot be told." 



Favourite Books of Childhood. 



By Frances H. Low. 




HE following paper is mainly 
concerned with a sketch of 
children's books from early 
days, and a comparison of the 
stories in favour with children 
of to-day with those of pre- 
ceding generations. The difficulty of finding 
out what boys read thirty, forty, and 
fifty years ago has been solved in the happiest 
manner by the graceful courtesy and co- 
operation of a group of distinguished living 
men, whose personal reminiscences will give 
a great fund of innocent pleasure and delight 
to all those who admire greatness, whether 
in statesmanship, literature, or science. 

Story-books written especially for children 
are of comparatively modern growth, the first 
systematic attempt at supplying juvenile 
literature having been made in 1 765 by 
Newberry, the publisher in St. Paul's Church- 
yard, of whom Leigh Hunt speaks with 
affection as being " the most illustrious 
bookseller of our boyish days, his little penny 
books being radiant with gold and rich with 
bad pictures." 

JBut if children's books were unknown in 
the earlier days of English national life, it is 
not to be concluded that the little people 
were without rhyme and romance about 
which to delight and dream. Legends, 
the common inheritance of every race 
and nation, ballads, fables — there was 
the ever ingenious " ^Esop," as well 
as others — were told and retold, and 
handed down by tradition until they were 
eventually printed ; and in the chap-books 
of the 17th century most of the old-time 
nursery rhymes and legends are to be 
found. These entered every farm-house and 
cottage, and naturally came into the hands 
of the children. 

Steele, in the Tatkr, speaks of a little boy 
of eight years, who frankly declared he did 
not care much for " ^Esop's Fables," because 
he did not believe they were true, but who 
was much better pleased with the lives and 
adventures of " Don Belliani of Greece," 
"Guy of Warwick," "The Seven Champions 
of Christendom, " and other historians of that 
age. " Guy of Warwick " was a popular hero 
with boyhood, and no wonder. His 
adventures and prowess out - hero Baron 
Munchausen's, and on one occasion he is set 



upon by sixteen assassins, whom he overcomes, 
slaying en passant bears, monsters, dragons, 
and the like. 

The valiant "Jack the Giant-Killer," the 
complacent, boastful little " Jack Horner," 
"Tom Thumb," and many another nursery 
hero, were familiar and beloved personages to 
17th century children through these odd little 
chap-books. Some of these chap-books — 
written with an eye to edify, or, as it would 
seem to us, to terrify, the small folk — are very 
curious reading. 

By way of compensation, the 1 7th century 
child had one book that has ever had 
a perennial charm for generations of child- 
ren, as well as for their elders ; and the 
allegory, imagery, and poetry of which have 
imprinted spiritual truths upon immature 
minds with an ineffaceable stamp. I mean, 
of course, the " Pilgrim's Progress." It is 
in no way necessary here to point out the 
qualities of this beautiful tale that strike a 
child's fancy and captivate his imagination, 
whilst at the same time interesting, satisfying, 
and delighting the sage and philosopher. 

About this book, and the masterpiece of 
Defoe, which appeared a little later, in the 
early part of the 18th century, there is a 
remark to be made. The head masters of some 
of the London and country public schools 
have kindly aided me in discovering what 
books are most popular with modern school- 
boys, by having an inquiry made upon this 
point. The boys examined for the most part 
belong to the middle and upper middle rank, 
and their sincere, undraped confessions are in- 
structive as well as (to me, at least) astonishing. 
Three hundred of these lists lie before me, 
and in only five of their number does the 
name of Bunyan's wondrous legend occur at 
all. It is the same with the girls. The 
head mistress of a large school for girls in 
the north of London kindly permitted a 
similar inquisition, with the result that only 
two little girls out of one hundred and fifty 
gave in their allegiance to the " Pilgrim's 
Progress." 

But if I turn to the roll-call of stirring 
names contributed by the older men, I find 
that the " Pilgrim's Progress" has frequently, 
if not invariably, a place of glory. Mr. 
Gladstone, Mr. W. E. Lecky, Mr. Walter 
Besant, Prof. Dowden (who says, " I had a 



FAVOURITE BOOKS OF CHILDHOOD. 



129 




MR. JOHN STUART MILL. 

Photo, by London Stereoscopic Co. 



good deal of the ' Pilgrim's Progress ' by 
heart before I was eight "), Mr. Leslie 
Stephen, all read the book closely, and loved 
it dearly in " the bright, untroubled days of 
boyhood." 

The second point is still more curious. 
Should we not 
expect the im- 
mortal "Robin- 
son Crusoe " to 
figure in every 
literary calendar 
drawn up by 
schoolboys ? 
But that there 
is a vast propor- 
tion of modern 
schoolboys com- 
pletely indif- 
ferent to "Robin- 
son " must cer- 
tainly be ad- 
mitted ; for in 
nearly one half 
of the papers 
the book does 
not figure at all. Yet what a crowd of illus- 
trious names have repaid their childish debt to 
Defoe by the praise with which they have done 
him homage ! "Was there ever anything written 
by mere man," asked Dr. Johnson, " that 
was wished longer by its reader ? " Coleridge 
philosophizes learnedly about it. John Stuart 
Mill says : "Amongst the few children's books 
I had, ' Robinson Crusoe ' was pre-eminent, 
and continued to delight me all through my 
boyhood." 

Listen to what M. Daudet, the creator of 
Tartarin, the inimitable, says in his letter, 
which is so gay and graceful that I must 
transcribe it here as it stands, it is too 
light and airy to be translatable. 

" Alphonse Daudet, 
auteur des troisTartarins, 
de Jack PImmortel, Le 
Nabab, Sappho, Lettres 
de mon Moulin, etc., a 
fait sa pature enfantine 
d'un seul livre : Le 
Robinson Crusoe. Au- 
jourd'hui encore il 
retrouve dans le livre de 
Daniel de Foe ses sensa- 
tions les plus intenses 
de terreur (le pied nu 
sur le sable avec son 
double fantastique du 
pied fourchu de Satan 
et la trace du cannibale, 

*VoI. viii. — '.8. 



f^ 



9?7r~ 



les yeux luisants du vieux bone, au 
fond de la caverne, la surprise du per- 
roquet clamant : ' Robinson, mon pauvre 
Robinson ! ') et aussi le charme, comme nulle 
autre part, du home, de la cabine, du 
renferme entoure d'horizons infinis de houles 
voyageuses. Avec le Robinson, mais bien 
au dessous, un livre que je n'ai pas relu, M. 
Le Midshipman Aise a passionne mon 
enfance en meme temps que Gulliver. Chose 
singuliere, ce sont tous des livres anglais, 
il y a la le mirage du meridionals grandi au 
soleil dans une ville sans eau et revant de 
voyages, d'iles lointaines. Je compte, du 
reste, avant peu, consigner dans un joyeux 
petit livre les premieres aventures navales 
d'un petit meridional qui n'avait jamais vu la 
mer. Mon livre sera dedie a Robinson." 

Legion is the name of the admirers of 
Defoe, who has had the happiness of writing 
a story that not only pleased boy critics of 
the next few centuries, but that also estab- 
lished, and always establishes, a kindly tie 
between the reader and the author. It is 
one of the rare books, too, that delight boys 
of the most diverse temperaments, characters, 
tastes, and activities, and that appeal equally 
to the boy Prince and the child of the streets. 

The Prince of Wales writes through Sir 
Francis Knollys that " Robinson Crusoe " 
was the favourite book of his childhood. It 
won the early affection of Mr. John Burns, 
whose tastes in early days seem to have been 
democratic and catholic, for he writes : " I 
was an omnivorous reader when a boy, 
and in the oddest manner varied the 
' Penny Dreadful ' with Combe's ' Constitu- 
tion of Man,' an old tattered copy of 
which I still have and highly prize." Mr. 
William Rossetti, who has given me a 
mass of exceedingly interesting details 
about the favourite books read by Dante 



/' 



ata^^v •*■*-»-«. i*\ <~>-* 



& 



-/.'z^z^- ~^^« QxJV*^. ~ /y^i^U^co^ 



'/ 




tt 



£f $Lc 8e- /&d&u£**fr-- 



FACSIMILE OF THE CONCLUSION OF M. DAUDET S LETTER. 



i3° 



THE STRAND MAGAZINE. 



Gabriel Rossetti in his boyhood, says 
his brother " liked ' Robinson Crusoe,' 
but it was not a special favourite." Lord 
Wolseley read it with "intense delight," 
as did Professor Huxley and Sir Henry 
Thompson. This proves — what, indeed, 
needs no proof — that its fascinating power 
is not only strong over boys with adventurous 
longings, or with a scientific turn of rnind — 
not the least enchanting portion of " Robin- 
son Crusoe " is that concerned with the 
manipulating of tools — but equally also over 
boys in whom the artistic faculty pre- 
dominates. 

Mr. Santley heads his list of favourite books 
with " Robinson Crusoe," whilst it proved no 
less seductive to Mr. Walter Besant, the 
novelist, Mr. Lecky, the historian, and to 
" Mark Rutherford," one of the great living 
prose writers. 

To set against the majority, however, 
Professor Dowden makes no mention of 
" Crusoe," but refers to " Masterman Ready " 
and " The Children of the New Forest," 
which "were a great delight." 

Neither Mr. Gladstone, Lord Salisbury, 
nor Mr. Ruskin give it any place of favour. 
Mr. Alfred Austin, after remarking that books 
with some literary value from an early age 
aroused in him most emotion, adds, " though, 
as a matter of course, one had one's share of 
traditional delight in ' Robinson Crusoe.' " 

It will be seen, then, that though in 
the early part of the 18th century no story- 
books had been written especially for youth- 
ful comprehension, children had no lack of 
precious and enchanting 
volumes, mainly of allegory, 
fable, and adventure, amongst 
which " Gulliver's Travels " 
must not be forgotten. 

About the middle of the 
century, however, it occurred 
to a "philanthropic" publisher 
(so he is strangely called by 
Goldsmith in the " Vicar of 
Wakefield "), one Newberry, 
of St. Paul's Churchyard, to 
bring out a series of juvenile 
books at an inexpensive price, 
many of them costing but one 
penny. This was in 1765, and 
from that time onward child- 
ren's literature has formed a 
regular branch of the publishers' and authors' 
trade. Many of these little books, illustrated 
by Bewick and other well-known artists, con- 
tained abridged stories of famous novels ; and 
"Tom Jones," "Don Quixote," and "Gil 



Bias" (one supposes very 
appeared in the series, 
stories are very different 
sentiment to the above, 
unbearably didactic in 
treatment. The chief aim 



much abridged) 

But most of the 

in thought and 

and are indeed 

intention and 

of the writers 




PROFESSOR JOHN RUSKIN. 

From a Photo, by Elliott & Fry. 



appears to be the humiliation of the child 
hero or heroine who figures in the books, 
and of children in general ; this being 
brought about by the exhibition on every 
conceivable occasion of the superior wisdom 
and virtues of the mammas and gover- 
nesses. Perhaps even this standpoint is 
preferable to that of some of the modern 
books, where it is the little boy in a velveteen 
suit whose wit, repartee, and the rest, soften 
the heart of his brutal grandfather ; or a 
little girl whose disagreeable practice of 
saying grace at dinner parties, and of singing 
hymns at odd occasions, vanquishes the 
scepticism of her worldly papa. 

One delightful little book that came out in 
the Newberry series related the " Adventures 
of Goody Two Shoes," and has been generally 
attributed to Goldsmith. It is full of humour 
and sly little touches. But what boundless 
patience these liliputian readers must have 
had, and what a prodigious gulf there 
stretches between children who tolerate such 
a story as Mrs. Pinchard's " Blind Child " 
and the exacting little persons of to-day ! 

Another tiresome book — at least, we have 
only heard of one little boy, and fortunately 
a little boy of genius, who confesses he was 
fond of it— was Miss Edgeworth's " Harry 
and Lucy." Mr. Ruskin (writes Mrs. Severn 
from Brarttwood) says his 
favourite book when he was 
ten years old was the "Arabian 
Nights " ; up to then, and 
indeed always as a child, his 
chief favourite was Miss Edge- 
worth's " Harry and Lucy." 
The children in Miss Edge- 
worth's stories are, however, 
simpler and healthier than 
some of the creations of her 
predecessors ; and " Simple 
Susan," which Scott declared 
brought tears into his eyes, is 
really a charming story, but 
not, I should fancy, appre- 
ciated by grown-up readers. 
Her other well-known story, 
" Rosamond," has received high praise in 
various quarters, and Miss Charlotte Yonge 
tells me it was a great favourite of hers ; 
but whether it be wise to endow your 
small heroine with such disagreeable model 



FAVOURITE BOOKS OF CHILDHOOD. 



131 



parents as Rosamond possessed is doubt- 
ful. 

It is impossible even to make a passing 
reference to the numerous books that have 
come fast and thick since 
the days of Miss Edgeworth, 
but a word of notice must 
fall upon that volume in 
whose pages many of us spent 
our most enchanted hours. 
"There is one book," says 
Mr. Stevenson in " Memories 
and Portraits," " more gener- 
ally loved than ' Shakespeare,' 
that captivates in childhood 
and still delights in age — I 
mean the ' Arabian Nights.' " 
But what will Mr. Stevenson 
— who has himself had the 
rare fortune of turning out a 
boy's classic — say to this : 
that out of my three hundred 
schoolboys, only fourteen have 
read the Arabian romances? 
I say read, but to be com- 
pletely precise I should say named, only it is 
hard to conceive of a boy reading, and 
having no passion for, the " Arabian Nights." 

Can there be anything more melancholy 
than that a generation of boys and girls (as for 
the girls, their tastes are hopeless, and in 
their lists there is no record of the precious 
volume at all) should be growing up whose 
imagination has never been stirred and taken 
captive by that seductive crowd of geniis, 
caliphs, and sorcerers, and to whom the sorely- 
tried Sindbad and Morgiana, and the rest of 
that captivating gallery, are 
not familiar and beloved 
friends? One would like to 
know, is the volume not 
placed in school libraries ? If 
not, what is the reason? If 
so, how comes it that the most 
vivid, magic, rich, and glow- 
ing stories that ever took cap- 
tive a child's spirit should be 
uncared for to-day ? 

Let us see how it is with 
their elders; and I shall here 
take the opportunity of pre- 
senting the records that they 
have given me. One may 
wager with certainty that the 
Arabian tales will be found 
in Mr. Gladstone's treasure box; for although 
the theory that we are essentially the same 
through life may want modifying, there are 
few persons with high gifts of imaginativeness 




ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON. 
From a Photo, by Falk, Sydney. 




LORD SALISBURY. 

From a Photo, by Elliott tb Fry. 



and receptivity who have not shown some- 
thing of the same qualities in their earlier 
days. 

Mrs. Drew writes on behalf of her illustrious 
father (Mr. Gladstone): "His 
favourite books at the age of 
nine and ten were 'Scott's 
Novels,' ' Froissart's Chro- 
nicles,' the 'Pilgrim's Pro- 
gress,' and the 'Arabian 
Nights.' My own," adds Mrs. 
Drew, " at the same age were, 
first and foremost, the 'Arabian 
Nights,' also 'Stories from 
Froissart,' ' Hans Andersen,' 
and the ' Daisy Chain.' " 

The only omission that pro- 
duces a little surprise is 
Shakespeare's plays, but the 
age limit of ten explains this ; 
and as I afterwards raised the 
limit to thirteen, it must be 
borne in mind when contrast- 
ing with the lists of others. 
" Froissart's Lives " were 
much in favour with boys at the beginning of 
this century. The history is said not to be 
especially accurate, and perhaps statesmen and 
historians, and a certain order of matter-of- 
fact people to whom precision is necessary, 
might suffer injury from the perusal ; but 
right-minded boys should delight in them, for 
there is killing and fighting on every page. 

Lord Salisbury writes with characteristic 

modesty that he " has very little information 

to give upon the subject, except what may seem 

of a very commonplace kind. His favourite 

books, as near as he can 

recollect, were Walter Scott's 

novels, the earlier novels of 

Dickens, Marryat, Fenimore 

Cooper, and Shakespeare's 

plays." 

Romance, adventure, and 
poetry : here is a varied feast, 
and what a host of honour- 
able and heroic figures are 
seated round the board ! 

Those who love to trace 
something of the look and 
ways and bearing of maturity 
in the child will examine the 
next three lists with interest. 
One little point — though one 
advances with caution, for it 
would not be wise to build any elaborate 
theory upon it or make any deductions there- 
from without far wider evidence than I have 
been able to collect here— that strikes, me bene 



13^ 



THE STRAND MAGAZINE. 



is this. The majority of robust lads, however 
greatly they distinguish themselves in after 
life in science, statesmanship, surgery, or 
other fields of action, have much the same 
tastes in reading, and it is the clatter of 
horse-shoes, the rattle of musketry, and all 
the stir of adventure and battle-field, that 
enchain their fancy. 

Exceptions there may be, as Lord Wolseley's 
letter shows, but on the whole this applies. 
Now, it may be mere chance, but it would 
•appear as if with men of letters it is not so. 
There would seem to be some fine literary 
instinct implanted in their breasts which 
makes itself felt in the beginning of life. 

Scott, whilst he was still a child, sleeping 
an his mother's dressing-room, speaks of the 
rapture with which he sat up in his shirt 
reading " Shakespeare " by the light of the fire 
an her apartment; and Pope speaks of the 
ecstasy with which, as a little fellow, he 
pored over the "Faerie Queene." 

Mr. William Rossetti — who shared the 
literary tastes of his famous brother, the 
ehildhood of the two being 
passed together — writes: "My 
brother read with more zest 
and personal preference than 
I did ; I perhaps showed more 
perseverance. He had very 
little liking for books in the 
nature of history or bio- 
graphy; and my sister Chris- 
tina, to whom I was chatting 
the other day about this 
matter of books, was very 
little of a reader in early 
years, and has never been 
exactly 'bookish.' She tells 
me that at the age of nine or 
so she was particularly fond of Hone's 'E very- 
Day Book,' which was also a great favourite 
of my brother's. My sister adds it was in 

* Hone ' that she for the first time saw the 
name of Keats, and some extracts from his 

* Eve of St. Agnes,' which impressed her as 
singularly beautiful. All three of us were 
from an early age familiar with ' John Gilpin,' 
and relished it much. 

" My brother, at the age of five or six 
years, was attracted to ' Hamlet.' It was 
illustrated by Retzoch, and there were similar 
copies of 'Romeo and Juliet,' ' The Tempest,' 

* Midsummer Night's Dream,' and ' Mac- 
beth.' Only extracts were given, and these 
lie read with great delight. A little later on, 
his favourite reading was ' Marmion ' and 
other of Scott's poems, as well as one or 
two of the novels. Byron's ' Siege of 




ROSSETTI. 

From a Photo, by W. & D. Downey. 



Corinth,' ' Mazeppa,' and the ' Corsair ' 
were favourites. We had a book called 
' Martin and Westall's Illustrations of the 
Bible,' at which he was constantly looking, 
as well as at the Bible, notably some histori- 
cal parts of the Old Testament and the 
Apocalypse. 

" At the age of eleven or twelve he made 
a series of pen-and-ink sketches for Pope's 
' Iliad.' Our elder sister Maria was im- 
mensely enthusiastic about it, and he, 
also, in a minor degree. He knew at that 
age in a cursory way and enjoyed Ariosto's 
' Orlando Furioso,' of which our grandfather 
had an illustrated edition ; but what delighted 
him perhaps more constantly than anything 
else was a series of stories, which came out 
in cheap numbers with coloured prints, called 
' Brigand Tales.' He also read and liked 
'Gil Bias,' Goethe's 'Faust,' 'Robinson 
Crusoe ' (which was not a special favourite), 
some of the more entertaining parts of 
'Gulliver's Travels,' and the 'Arabian Nights.' 
"He had an edition of Burns, and was 
familiar with it in a sort of 
way, but didn't take to the 
poetry as such. Lamb's 
'Tales from Shakespeare' was 
a good deal in his hands, but 
not, I think, at all relished. 
He was very fond ot 
'Nicholas Nickleby,' and knew 
something of ' Pickwick,' but 
I don't think he took much to 
the last named." 

The rest of the list is, un- 
fortunately, too long to enu- 
merate here, but I notice the 
" Newgate Calendar," which 
was much read about ten and 
eleven, and as early as nine; "Rienzi," 
which was a great favourite; "Gay's Fables," 
the prints of which were possibly the 
greatest attraction to him ; and " Ada," 
which was a great favourite, and was about a 
mysterious murder. 

Miss Rossetti's favourite volumes also were 
"Scott's Poems" and the "Arabian Nights." 
Her brother adds : — 

" Our mother was a very religious woman 
and most careful parent ; but she never 
dosed us much with goody-goody books. 
The ' History of the Fairchild Family ' was 
not with any of us at all a favourite. Among 
short poems we all three cherished were 
' Casablanca ' and ' Chevy Chase.' This, 
along with the ' Englishman ' and the 
' Spanish Lady,' seems to have been the only 
old ballad we knew in those childish years." 



FAVOURITE BOOKS OF CHILDHOOD. 



i33 



Probably, as Mr. Rossetti points out, 
inherited tendencies had no little influence 
on the taste of these gifted children, for 
their father had written a great deal of poetry 
on Italian patriotic subjects, with which they 
were familiar. 

But what a wonderful list it is ! What a 
rich array of the greatest names, what 
high and rare atmosphere for boyhood to 
grow up in ! Keep that scroll, admit it into 
your memory, and then glance at a few lists 
sent in by the boys of to-day. Here are 
three taken at random from the pile that 
lies before me : — 

" The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn," 
by Mark Twain ; " The Adventures of Tom 
Sawyer," by Mark Twain ; " Tom Brown's 
School Days " ; " Dropped from the Clouds," 
by Jules Verne ; " Three Men in a Boat " ; 
" A Robbery Under Arms." 

"The Boys' Own Paper"; "Strand 
Magazine"; "The Amusing Journal"; 
"Eric, or Little by Little," editor, Rev. 
Farrar ; " Dick Cheveley " ; " The Ludgate 
Monthly"; "Three Midshipmen"; "Three 
Lieutenants"; "Three Commanders;" 
"Three Admirals." 

"Chums" (Cassell's); "Boys"; "Boys' 
Own Paper " ; "A Bad Boy's Diary " ; "A 
Good Boy's Diary " ; " Strand Magazine " 
("Sherlock Holmes' Adventures" and "The 
Diary of a Doctor"); " Dombey and Son," 
"David Copperfield," "Old Curiosity Shop" 
(Dickens) ; " Three Men in a Boat " (not to 
say anything about the dog) ; "Boy's Annual " ; 
" Ludgate Monthly." 

Another poet in whom a feeling for litera- 
ture showed itself at an early age is Mr. 
Alfred Austin. 

" I do not remember," he says, " that any 
story-books, merely as story-books, excited in 
me the childish emotion that was aroused by 
works more directly allied to literature ; 
though, as a matter of course, if at a some- 
what earlier age, one had one's share of 
traditional delight in ' Robinson Crusoe,' in 
'Gulliver's Travels,' no doubt specially edited 
virginibus puerisque, and in Mungo Park's 
'Travels.' But my first real experience of 
enthusiasm in connection with books was 
when my father read to me the First Canto 
of 'The Lady of the Lake,' and with the 
sound of the four verses : — 

The stag at eve had drunk his fill 
Where danced the moon on Monar's rill, 
And deep his midnight lair had made 
In lone Glenartney's hazel shade — 

I had a sensation never again experienced 
till I caught my first sight of Italy. No 



doubt that opening out of a new world 
and of a real life occurred somewhat 
before the period named by you ; but I 
think it awoke, or perhaps only discovered, 
the preferences that manifested themselves 
later on. A love of form and sound, in 
other words, I suppose, of style — however 
elementary and deficient — henceforward 
seemed to decide one's tastes. Hence, 
Pope's translation of the ' Iliad,' Cowper's 
' Lines on My Mother's Picture,' copious 
extracts from Byron, Pope's ' Eloisa to 
Abelard,' the more martial passages from 
Shakespeare, were associated in one's reading 
with Livy, in whom I delighted, especially 
where that writer — greater, it seems to me, as 
an orator even than an historian — records 
the speeches of Roman worthies ; with 
Fenelon's ' Telemaque ' and with Bossuet's 
' Oraisons Funebres.' 

" I was, however, anything but a voracious 
reader, and I must confess that I then 
preferred, as I do still, all forms of open-air 
exercise, and even a certain receptive vacancy 
of mind, to all the books in the world." 

In the same strain and in strengthening 
of my theory is the record of one of the 
living masters of prose, Professor Dowden. 
After recalling with pleasure " Masterman 
Ready," " The Children of the New Forest," 
and " Uncle Tom's Cabin," he says, " with 
the latter my imagination was caught ; and I 
think I was a little in love with Eva as shown 
in a picture. Before I was eight I was much 
impressed by ' Macbeth,' and I longed for the 
complete ' Shakespeare ' which was locked 
up in my father's bookcase. Before I was 
thirteen I had earned this ' Shakespeare ' 
by writing thirty-six short essays, three for 
each volume, and I still possess the book. 
It does not contain Shakespeare's poems, and 
(as I began to collect early) I remember 
buying a little copy of the poems, which 
became a great treasure. When about 
thirteen I was lucky in coming across Henry 
Reed's ' Lectures on English Literature,' and 
this led me on to Wordsworth, in whom I 
lost myself for years (or, perhaps, found 
myself for the first time). I read nearly 
all the ' Waverley Novels ' in bed during 
my frequent illnesses as a little boy. I 
remember that I cared much for Horace's 
' Odes,' and got a vivid feeling of the 
power of style from Tacitus. Among my 
early favourites were the 'Vicar of Wake- 
field' and Goldsmith's 'Plays and Poems.' 
That excellent book, ' Telemaque,' gave me 
great pleasure, and I believe that it would do 
so if I read it now. It was, however, quali- 



134 



THE STRAND MAGAZINE. 



fied by 'Gil Bias.' The only histories I 
cared to read were of the French Revolution 
and Napoleonic time." 

As characteristic as this of the man of letters 
is the brief, concise record of 
a distinguished man of action, 
Lord Wolseley. The scholarly 
and (one surmises) peaceful 
little boy-student reads his- 
torical description very likely 
with a single eye to vividness 
and picturesqueness of writing ; 
but the miniature warrior, 
already inspired with the 
martial spirit, cares for none 
of these things — he is already 
the true soldier, and his 
country is the animating centre 
of his thoughts. 

"When a child of the age 
you mention," writes Lord 




LORD WOLSELEY. 

From a Photo, by Elliott & Fry, 



2-w^u*, 



«A*i-v-»-0 ^-znx^O C-xr%~iZj£*y 

J)Lyjui+me u/2~JJt> &U+5 <^y*^ 

FACSIMILE OF CONCLUSION OF LORD WOLSELEY'S LETTER. 



Wolseley, " I read with intense interest 
' yEsop's Fables,' ' Robinson Crusoe,' 
' Captain Cook,' and ' Commodore Anson's limited in corn- 
Voyages,' and all the stories of naval and parison with 
military adventure with which the pages of that of the 
old ' Peter Parley ' were then filled. But I modern child." 
didn't care for the heroes of other nations. One is 
Nelson and King Alfred, who were the great tempted to 
heroes of my boyhood, would have had no wonder whe- 
particular interest for me had they not been ther any of the 
Englishmen. It was love of country more books that 
than love of heroes which filled my mind schoolboys are 
and excited my interest and enthusiasm." reading to-day 
What a delightful picture this brings will so deeply 
before one's mind of little Master Wolseley have stamped 
meeting, we will say, a French schoolboy, themselves 
twice his size, at some foreign watering- upon their 
place, and vindicating the national honour of minds and 
which he is already jealous, and the bright- imaginations 
ness of which he has helped to sustain. that sixty years 



Science in this little essay of mine is 
honourably represented by Sir Henry Thomp- 
son and Professor Huxley, and by a curious 
coincidence the three first-named books in 
each list are the same : The 
"Pilgrim's Progress," "Robin- 
son Crusoe," "Gulliver's 
Travels." 

To this Sir Henry Thomp- 
son adds : " ' The Wars of the 
Jews and the Destruction of 
Jerusalem ' was an enormous 
favourite, and made a great 
impression on me, as did also " 
(and here, at any rate, we 
suspect the modern schoolboy 
will be in sympathy with him) 
"the Eton Latin Grammar, 
the most hateful production 
in the form of a school book 
that I ever encountered in 
my life, seeing that 
it was forced upon 
me as a daily com- 
panion before I 
was six years old ! " 
Professor Hux- 
ley says : "I am 
not sure that my 
memory of sixty 
years ago is very 
trustworthy ; but 
in addition to the 
books named, 
'Mungo Park's 
Travels ' (I was 
long set on emu- 
lating that worthy) 
and the stories in 
the Bible, particularly the Apocrypha, are 
visible in the mist. Our repertory was very 



fLjR. 




SIR H. THOMPSON. 

From a Photo, by Walery. 



FAVOURITE BOOKS OF CHILDHOOD. 



i35 



hence the familiar names and scenes will " Byron's Poems," " The Lady of the Lake," 

also come out of " the mist." Is it pos- and Homer's " Iliad." Scott's novels and 

sible that any enduring impression can be Fenimore Cooper's were the chief delight of 

made on a child's plastic mind if the volume Mr. G. F. Watts at the age of nine. 




^^C^^ - 




PROFESSOR HUXLEY. 

From a Photo, by Elliott cfc Fry 



FACSIMILE CF CONCLUSION OF PROFESSOR HUXLEY S LETTER. 



be read but once and then replaced by some- 
thing more exciting — or, to use the more 
exact word, by something more sensational ? 

There is one book — I should not have 
to chronicle its absence had it been possible 
to reach Samoa within reasonable time 
— which to my astonishment appears neither 
in the reading of the boys of to-day nor 
in those of a bygone past : and it would be 
left out in the cold altogether were it not 
for the homage of one woman — fortunately 
of sufficient rare distinction to make the 
homage of worth ; for it is Madame Patti, 
whose favourite book as a child was " Monte 
Christo." 

Miss Ada Rehan, who has won distinction 
in another field of art, was fondest of " fairy 
tales and Tennyson." 

Mr. Santley's boyish favourites include 
" Robinson Crusoe," numberless books of 
adventure, Shakespeare's plays, and many old 
plays. Mr. W. E. Lecky's catalogue includes 



The " old plays " seem hardly appropriate 
pasturage for little boys to browse upon, and 
the same objection may have risen in the 
minds of many older persons as they have 

perused some 
of the re- 
cords given 
here. I once 
put a ques- 
tion bearing 
upon this 
matter to Mr. 
Walter Be- 
sant, whose 
own boyish 
library in- 
cluded most 
of the classics 
I have named. 
" I read all 
the Restora- 

From a Photo, by Barraud. X\OX\ playS as 3. 




136 



THE STRAND MAGAZINE. 



boy, and I don't think they did me any harm. 
The fact is, I didn't understand the impro- 
prieties ; most boys don't until they have 
been to a public school. When I was a 
small boy there used to call upon our 
family a very important relative, a prim, 
decorous old lady, who 
looked with great suspicion 
on our reading anything 
except books written especi- 
ally for children about 
children, mostly of the 
priggish kind that die early. 
I remember once when she 
came, I was sitting in a 
corner reading one of 
Scott's. I don't remember 
which" (it was " Peveril of 
the Peak "), " but I came to 
that passage about Charles 
II. being the father of many 
subjects, where Bucking- 
ham says : ' the father of 
many,' and though I didn't 
in the least understand the significance, 
something in the sentence diverted me, and 
I burst out laughing. The solemn relative 
nnd some other decorous people asked what 
the mirth was about, whereupon I delightedly 
read out the passage. My humour, or rather 
Scott's, was received in complete silence, 
which, though it didn't damp my spirits, 
considerably puzzled me." 

Perhaps the moral that is most driven 
home to one, or, at any rate, to the humble 
writer of this, is that bad books so-called — 
meaning books dealing openly with the rela- 
tions of men and women and with matters of 
the world — do not much harm a clean- 
minded little boy. 

Of much greater import, so it seems to 
me, is the vulgarity of style and sentiment of 
many of the books favoured by modern boys. 
There are books — I will not advertise them 
more than I can help — recurring again and 
again, whose distinguishing characteristics are 
certain cheap qualities that should recommend 
them to the servants' hall, but nowhere else. 
The strain of commonness in humour, the 




From a Photo, by Elliott >b Fry. 



vulgarity of the style, the complete absence 
of anything imaginative, or high, or heroic, that 
can inspire and animate and unconsciously 
educate a boy, are so marked, that it is a 
marvel that parents should permit such 
literature in the school-room ; and their 
popularity is the severest 
commentary on the national 
demoralization of literary 
feeling. 

Again, although several 
of the books of adventure 
and historical rcmance 
seem written with a whole- 
some breeziness (Henty's 
are a notable instance), is 
it not a pity that a race of 
children should grow up 
completely unfamiliar with 
the masterpieces of English 
romance ? 

If these preferences are 
typical and representative, 
as I believe they are, we 
can no longer cherish the belief that 
Scott retains his hold over youth. Here 
and there a boy reads " Ivanhoe," and 
more rarely still " The Talisman " ; but 
of all that long gallery of beloved figures 
enshrined in our memories — of Guy 
Mannering, of the Dominie, of Cleveland, 
Locksley, Quentin Durward, Major Dalgetty, 
Claverhouse, and the rest — these boys and 
girls know nothing. If stories of high pur- 
poses and brave passions have any meaning 
and influence, one would almost feel disposed 
to say, " To have read and loved Scott is a 
liberal education"; and Sir Henry Thompson 
will agree that it is to be gained in a pleasanter 
school than that of the Latin grammar. 

In a few years hence these chubby-faced, 
bright-eyed little lads will be playing their 
parts, ill or well, in the theatre of life, 
and the play, the troubles, the delights of 
boyhood, will have passed for ever. But 
more enduring are the influences, the 
memories, and the associations of life's 
morning, and they cannot be set in too high 
and heroic a measure. 




«M 



By Grant Allen. 



^vJhTs 




rESti 





HE only thing known about 
her with certainty," said the 
papers next morning, "is 
that the wretched woman 
was an associate of the man 
Laminski, who is believed to 
have been the real author of this atrocious 
outrage. She lodged in the same house with 
him in the Boulevard St. Michel; she worked 
at the same studio ; the relations between 
them are described as most cordial ; and it is 
even said that she was engaged to be married 
to him. By this fortunate disaster society is 
well rid " — but, there, you know the way the 
papers talk about these things, and how very 
little reason there is, as a rule, in all they say 
of them. 

Let me tell you the true story of that 
sweet little American woman. 

She was small and slight : one of those 
dainty, delicate, mignonne New England girls, 
with shell-like ears and transparent com- 
plexions, who look as if they were made of 
the finest porcelain, yet spring, Heaven knows 
how, out of rough upland farm-houses. It 
was in her native Vermont that the hunger of 
art first came upon Essie Lothrop. You must 
know America to know just how it came, 
seizing her by the throat, as it were, one 
day, among the cows and the apple-harvest, 
at sight of some early Italian pictures 
engraved in a magazine. From her childhood 
upward, to be sure, Essie had drawn pic- 
tures for her own delight with a plain lead 

Vol. viii.— 19. 



pencil ; drawn the ducks, and the lambs, and 
the wild orange-lilies that ran riot in the 
woods ; drawn them instinctively, without 
teaching of any sort, for pure, pure love of 
them. But these early Italian pictures, then 
seen for the first time, crossing her simple 
horizon on the hills of Vermont, roused a 
fresh fierce thrill in that eager little breast of 
hers. She had heard of art, from a distance, 
as a thing glorious and beautiful, which 
sprang far from New England. Now those 
four or five wood-cuts in the magazine 
suggested to her mind unknown possibilities 
of artistic beauty. She said to herself at 
once, " I must know these things. I must 
see them with my eyes. I must live my life 
among them." 

From that day forth it became a fixed idea 
with Essie Lothrop that she should go to 
Paris and study painting. Where Paris was, 
what Paris could do for her, she only guessed 
from the meagre details in her common- 
school geography. But with American 
intuition she was somehow dimly aware that 
if you wanted an artistic education, Paris was 
the one right place to go for it. 

" Paris ! " her father cried, when she spoke 
of it first to him, in the field behind the 
barn ; " why, Essie, do tell ! That's whar 
folks are alius gettin' up revolootions, ain't 
it ? An' I guess them furriners is most all 
Papishes." 

" But it's the place to study art, father," 
Essie cried, with her big eyes wide open. 



138 



THE STRAND MAGAZINE. 




" I MUST KNOW THESE THINGS." 

" And I mean to study art, if I have to die 
for it." 

She didn't know how prophetic a word she 
had spoken. 

Thenceforth, however, life meant but one 
thing to Essie Lothrop. She lived in order 
to work for the money which would take her 
to study art in Paris. She was sixteen when 
that revelation came upon her : she was 
twenty when she found herself, alone and a 
stranger, in the streets of the wicked, un- 
heeding city. 

Not that she thought it wicked. Essie 
was too innocent to have any fears in 
committing herself to the unknown world of 
Paris. With true American guilelessness, 
she considered it perfectly natural that a girl 
of twenty should hire a room for herself, 
au cinquihne, in the Boulevard St. Michel, 
and should present herself as a student at 
Valentin's studio. 

She had learned a little French beforehand 
in her remote New England home ; learned 
it direct from a book, with just a hint or two 
as to pronunciation from an older and wiser 
companion ; but she had so much of that 
strange natural tact which Heaven has been 
pleased to bestow on New England girls, 



that she spoke tolerably well even at the 
very first outset, and quickly picked up a 
fair Parisian accent in the course of" a 
week or two. Sometimes these frail and 
transparent - looking Yankee girls have 
mind enough to do anything they choose 
to undertake, and certainly Essie Lothrop 
spoke French at the end of three months 
with a fluency and purity that would have 
made most Englishmen stare with astonish- 
ment. 

There was joy at Valentin's the first 
morning when Essie made her appear- 
ance. Slight, smiling, demure, with her 
American ease and her American frankness, 
she took the fancy of all the men students 
at once. 

" She is good," they said, " the little 
one ! " 

When she dropped her brush, it was 
Stanislas Laminski who picked it up and 
handed it back to her. She accepted it 
with a smile, the perfectly courteous and 
good-humoured smile off the girl who had 
come fresh from her Vermont fields to that 
great teeming Paris, who knew no middle 
term between her native village and the 
Boulevard St. Michel. She thought no 
evil. To her, these men were just fellow- 
students, as the Vermont boys had been 
in the common-school of her township. 
She took their obtrusive politeness as her 
natural due, never dreaming Jean and 
Alphonse could mean anything more by it 
than Joe and Pete would have meant in her 
upland hamlet. 

" Is she droll, the little one ? " the men 
students said at first, when she gravely allowed 
them to carry her things back for her to her 
room au cinquieme, and even invited them 
in with smiling grace to share her cup of tea 
— those noisy youths, who lived upon nothing 
but cigarettes and absinthe. They looked at 
one another shamefacedly, and stifled their 
smiles ; then they answered : " Merci, 
mademoiselle, we do not drink tea. But we 
thank you from the heart for your amiable 
hospitality." 

They bowed and withdrew, Laminski last 
of all, with a side glance over his shoulder. 
Then, when they reached the bottom of the 
five flights of stairs, they burst out laughing 
simultaneously. But it was a deprecatory 
laugh. " Is she innocent, the American ? 
She asked us to tea ! Hein, Jules, my boy ! 
hein, Alphonse ! that was a rich one, 
wasn't it ? " 

But Laminski lingered behind, and looked 
up at her window. 



THE DYNAMITER'S SWEETHEART 



!39 



As for Essie, she sat down, not one atom 
abashed, to think over her first day's adven- 
tures in the studio. An English girl under 
the circumstances would have been terribly 
oppressed by a vague sense of loneliness. 
But Essie was not. It is the genius of her 
countrywomen. She sat down and smiled to 
herself at her day's work, contentedly. What 
nice, friendly young men they had all been, 
to be sure, and how polite they had seemed 
to her ! And Valentin himself had looked 
approvingly at her first essay, and had 
muttered to himself, " She will do, the 
little one." How delicious to be really in 
Paris, where men and women learn art, and 
to feel yourself in touch with all those great 
masters in the Louvre and the Luxembourg ! 

Essie was quite at home at once, as she 
brewed her tea, and drank it by herself in 
her room au cinquieme. 
Only, she was half sorry 
to be quite alone that 
first afternoon; what a 
pity those good - looking, 
nice-mannered young men 
hadn't really dropped in to 
share a friendly cup with 
her ! 

Next morning she was 
back at the studio early, 
neat and demure as ever, 
her golden hair wound up 
in the most artistic coil 
with charming freedom, 
and her sweet child's face 
beaming innocent welcome 
to the men as they entered. 
The girls looked more 
coldly at her, and gave 
her a stiff bow; but only 
that second day. Before 
a week was out they under- 
stood " the American," and 
vaguely felt that though 
her code of proprieties was 
quite other than their own 
■ — she came without a 
chaperon — yet she was 
entirely comme il faut, and 
a dear little thing into the 
bargain also. They never 
interfered with her ; they 
let her come and go, recognising the fact 
that, after all, Americans were Americans, 
and " que voulez-vous, ma cher; ? C'est 
comme ca la-bas, allez ! " 
Valentin approved of her. 
"That child will go far," he said some- 
times, confidentially, to Stanislas Laminski. 



"She has talent, do you see? Talent! bah, 
she has genius. She has learnt nothing, of 
course ; but she will learn ; she is plastic. 
There's more originality in that child's little 
finger than in all that fat Kerouac's Breton 
body. Ah, yes, she will go far, if you others 
leave her alone. She is innocent, the little 
one ; respect her innocence." 

Laminski sat next her and painted by her 
side. He did his best to help her. Often 
he pointed out to her when things she did 
were technically wrong ; set her right in her 
drawing, corrected her first crude ideas of 
colour. Essie, living for art, put her head 
on one side and drank it all in eagerly. She 
was docile like a child ; she saw these 
men knew more about it than she did, and 
she was anxious to profit as far as possible 
by their instruction. Laminski liked her; 




HE DID HIS BEST TO HELP HER. 



she was so small and so pretty. Like a 
dainty little flower, Laminski thought to 
himself. With an artist's eye, with a poet's 
heart, how could he help admiring her ? 

One afternoon he walked home with her, 
and carried her things for her. At the top of 
the stairs, she turned and took them from him, 



140 



THE STRAND MAGAZINE. 



smiling. " Will you come in and rest awhile, 
monsieur ? " she asked, with her innocent 
frankness. Laminski hesitated. The others 
were not by. After all, what harm ? Why 
not accept that innocent invitation in the 
spirit in which she gave it ? 

He stammered out a vague acquiescence. 
Essie flung open the door and preceded him 
into the room. It was a bedroom of the 
common Parisian Jack-of-all-trades sort, with 
the bed huddled away into a niche in the 
background, and the rest of the apartment 
furnished like a salon. Essie waved him to 
the sofa. He seated himself on it, gingerly, 
very close to the edge, as if half afraid of 
making himself too comfortable. Essie 
noticed it and laughed. " But why so ? " 
she asked, merrily. Then her eye fell on an 
envelope on the table close by. " Ah ! a 
letter from Dicky ! " she cried, and took it 
up and opened it. 

"And who is Dicky?" Laminski asked, 
gazing hard at her, inquiringly. 

" My brother," Essie answered, devouring 
the letter. " He tells me all about our farm, 
and my father, and the chickens." 

The young man leaned back and watched 
her respectfully with a stifled smile, till she 
had finished reading it. She went through 
with it unaffectedly to the end, and then laid 
it down, glowing. Laminski was charmed 
at so much natural simplicity. 

" Dicky tells me all about our pets at the 
farm," she said, simply ; and to Laminski 
tl i mere mention of the farm was delicious 
in its naivete. " He tells me about my 
ducks, and how our neighbour has broken 
his arm, and that Biddy, the servant" (at 
home she would have said " the hired girl ") 
" is engaged to be married." 

Then she felt amused herself, to observe 
how formal all these domestic details of 
Vermont society sounded, even in her own 
ears, when one made French prose of them. 
But to Laminski, they were still stray breaths 
of Arcadia. 

"I suppose you Russians can hardly 
understand what America's like," she added, 
after a pause, just to keep conversation 
rolling ; " but we Americans love it." 

Laminski started back like one stung. 
" Mademoiselle ! " he cried, angrily. 

" What have I done ? " Essie asked, draw- 
ing away in surprise. " What have I said ? 
Why do you start ? Surely we Americans 
can love America ? " 

11 A la bonne heure ! ' " he answered, gazing 
hard at her in a strange way. " But why 
treat me like this ? Why call me a Russian ? " 



" I thought you were one, from your name," 
Essie replied, taken aback. " Isn't Laminski 
Russian ? " 

" Thank Heaven, no," the dark young man 
answered, with a fierce flash of the eyes. 
" I'm a Pole, mademoiselle, and, like all good 
Poles, I hate and detest Russia. Call me a 
Chinaman, if you will, a negro, a monkey; 
but not a Russian." 

" But isn't the Czar your Emperor, too ? " 
Essie inquired, innocently. She was too 
unversed in European affairs to understand 
that a Pole could differ from a Russian 
otherwise than as a Californian differs from a 
New Englander. 

Laminski suppressed an oath. Then he 
went on to explain to her in brief but 
sufficiently vigorous terms the actual state of 
feeling between Poles and Russians. Essie 
listened with the intent interest of the 
intelligent American ; for, as a rule, with the 
average Yankee, you may feel pretty sure of 
finding that he is absolutely ignorant of any 
piece of information you may desire to 
impart to him, but eagerly anxious to know 
all about it. A great desire to learn and 
capacity for learning co-exist with an 
astounding want of information and culture. 

" Then you are a Catholic ? " Essie said, 
at last, after listening to his explanation with 
profound interest. 

The young man gazed at her with an 
expression of amused surprise. " I am of 
whatever religion mademoiselle prefers," he 
answered, courteously — " except only the 
religion of the accursed Russians." 

" I don't understand you," Essie said, 
much puzzled. Such easy-going gallantry 
was remote, indeed, from the sober, God- 
fearing New England model. 

Laminski smiled again. " Well, we ad- 
vanced politicians in Europe," he said, twirl- 
ing his black moustache, " don't, as a rule, 
belong to any religion in particular — unless 
it be the religion of the ladies who interest us." 

" Oh, how very sad," Essie replied, looking 
hard at him, pityingly. " But perhaps you 
may see clearer in time." 

" Perhaps," Laminski answered, with a 
curious puckering of the corners of his 
mouth. " Though I hardly expect it." 

" Will you take some tea ? " Essie asked, 
just to relieve the tension. For the first time 
in her life she was dimly aware of that barrier 
of sex which she had never felt with the 
young men in Vermont. But these European 
men are so strange and so different ! They 
always make you remember, somehow, that 
they are men and that you are a woman. 



THE DYNAMITER'S SWEETHEART 



141 



"Thank you," he replied; "mademoiselle 
is very good." And he sat looking on while 
Essie prepared it. 

When it was ready, he tasted it. He had 
drunk tea in quantities when he was a boy 
near Warsaw, but never since the first day 
he came to Paris. " How innocent it is ! " 
he exclaimed, as he tasted it. And Essie 
stared again, not knowing what to make of 
him. 

From that day forth, it was the gossip of 
the atelier that Laminski had his eyes upon 
the little American. He walked home with 
her daily ; he took her to cafes more reputable 
than was his wont ; he escorted her on 



The strangest part of it all was that the 
men themselves were silenced by her in- 
nocence. " Chut! Not a word of that!" 
gros Kerouac would exclaim, to the laughing 
group around him as Essie entered ; " here 
comes the little one ! " and, instantly, a 
demure silence fell on the noisy crowd ; or 
if they laughed after that, they laughed at 
something where Essie's own silvery voice 
could join them merrily. 

" As for Laminski, he is reformed," 
Alphonse said more than once, with a 
shrug, to Jules. " You would not know that 
man. He half forgets the Dead Rat, and 
hasn't been seen for fifteen days at Bruant's." 




—? 



Sundays to the Louvre and 
to Cluny. The other girl- 
students gave her dark hints 
at times, which Essie did not 
understand, of some mysterious 
danger which they seemed to 
think lay in intercourse with 
Laminski, or, for the matter of 
that, with any of the other men 
who frequented the studio. But 
the dark hints glided unnoticed past Essie. 
Clad in her triple mail of New England 
innocence, she never even guessed what the 
hinters were driving at. These men were 
gentlemen (as Essie understood the word), 
students of art like herself; and why should 
a self-respecting girl be afraid or ashamed of 
accepting their kind escort to the cafe or the 
theatre ? She walked unharmed through the 
midst of that strange, unconventional 
Bohemian Paris, as unconventional as itself, 
by dint of pure innate goodness and 
simplicity. 



HE WALKED HOME WITH HER DAILY. 



Month by month went on, and indeed a 
strange change came over Laminski. He 
stopped away more and more from the cafes 
chantants and the open-air balls ; he was 
found continually till late hours of the 
evening at Essie Lothrop's apartment. " And 
mind you," said Alphonse, "what is strange, 
it is all for the good motive. Laminski 
reformed ! Is it a good one, that ? Take 
my word for it, comrades, he will marry her, 
at church, and settle down into a brave 
bourgeois." 

Meanwhile, Essie painted. Oh, how Essie 



142 



THE STRAND MAGAZINE. 



painted ! Valentin's heart rejoiced. Since 
Marie Bashkirtseff, no atelier in Paris had 
had such a promising woman pupil. And 
Laminski painted, too ; the pair of them, 
side by side : she, with grace and refinement ; 
he, with fiery force and Slavonic vigour. 

At last, the other students began to 
murmur that if that went much further, 
allons ! that would end by compromising the 
little one. Laminski's brow clouded when 
they spoke these things darkly ; and when 
Laminski was angry, it boded no good to 
anyone. However, in order that nobody 
should ever say he was seen too often coming 
down the stairs of that angel's house, he 
adopted an excellent and saving device : he 
removed from madame's, that Bohemian 
pension, and took a room au sixieme, just 
above Essie's, in the self-same house in the 
Boulevard St. Michel. Sacred name of a 
dog, nobody can blame a man for being seen 
at night about his own apartments. 

And then, he employed his spare hours at 
night by painting Essie as Ste. Genevieve 
in a great historical composition. 

What wonder that Essie Lothrop fell in 
love with him ? All men are human ; still 
more, all women. He was so handsome, so 
clever, so fiery, so incomprehensible, so 
utterly unlike the young men in New Eng- 
land. That very incomprehensibility was a 
point in his favour ; it appealed to woman's 
love of the mysterious and the infinite. 
Besides, Alphonse was right ; strange to say, 
Laminski meant it all for the good motive. 
The more he looked at her, the more vividly 
did he feel that fate, blind fate, was drawing 
him against his will to marry that pure and 
beautiful girl — to marry her at church, like 
any ordinary bourgeois. 

They never exactly arranged it. It grew 
up between them imperceptibly. As he 
painted her in her simple white robe as Ste. 
Genevieve, they found themselves addressing 
one another as Essie and Stanislas, " presque 
sans le savoir." 

But step by step, they both of them came 
to regard it as natural — nay, almost inevitable. 
Essie admired him unspeakably : and indeed, 
there was much to admire in Laminski. A 
man who could paint with such poetical feeling, 
who could make such sweet fancies breathe 
upon canvas, must have much that was good 
in him. And then, his fiery eloquence ! 
Essie loved to hear him, when work was 
over, pouring forth his untamable Slavonic 
soul in torrent floods of denunciation against 
tyrants. She didn't know much about this 
European world, to be sure, but she had 



been taught to believe that tyrants were 
plentiful as blackberries in Europe. Here in 
France, of course, we were living under a 
Republic, which made it almost as good as 
America. But Russia and Germany, and all 
those other outlying countries — well, Stanislas 
told her the Czar was a monster, and she had 
read Mr. Kennan's articles in the Century, 
and could well believe it. 

Once or twice a week, however, it was 
Stanislas's way to go out at night to some 
mysterious meeting. On such occasions, 
Essie asked him what society he frequented. 
Laminski smiled a curiously self-restrained 
smile, and answered in a somewhat evasive 
voice that it had something to do with the 
Friends of Freedom. These Friends of 
Freedom were often on his lips ; Essie didn't 
exactly know what they were driving at, but 
she took their plan to be some benevolent 
scheme for emancipating the people of Poland 
by touching the hearts of the Russian 
officials. She fancied they disseminated 
humanitarian tracts, and in that bland belief 
she went on, unconcerned, with her painting 
at Valentin's. It was all very dreadful, 
no doubt, as Stanislas said, this European 
tyranny ; but, with art at her door, she 
couldn't pretend to interest herself in politics. 
Her heart was absorbed in her work and in 
Stanislas. 

Yet she loved his rhetoric. She loved to 
see him stop in the very act of painting Ste. 
Genevieve's halo ; loved to see him stand, 
palette on thumb, in his room au sixieme, 
and enforce with aggressive and demonstra- 
tive paint-brush his angry charge against the 
crimes of the bourgeoisie. Who the bour- 
geoisie might be, Essie didn't quite know, 
but she understood them to be wicked 
oppressors of the poor, which, of course, was 
quite enough to justify Stanislas's righteous 
indignation. He looked so handsome when 
he opened the vials of wrath on the heads of 
the bourgeoisie that Essie just loved to see 
and hear him demolish them. Nothing could 
be too bad for those wicked creatures, if half 
of what Stanislas said was true about them. 

By-and-by, while Essie was still working 
at Valentin's, and Laminski was vaguely 
reflecting upon the ways and means by which 
at last to marry her, all Paris was startled one 
memorable morning by the terrible news of 
an Anarchist bomb-outrage. It was the 
first that had taken place since Essie's 
arrival ; and it shocked and surprised her. 
To think people should act with such reck- 
less folly ! 

At Valentin's that day, when the news 



THE DYNAMITER'S SWEETHEART. 



143 




"she loved his rhetoric." 

came in, all was hubbub and excitement. 
Alphonse and the gros Kerouac were dis- 
tinctly of opinion that Government should 
do something. Anarchists should be caught 
and fried in butter. The Gascon surmised 
that it would be not a bad plan to cut them 
bit by bit into little square pieces in the 
Place de la Concorde, as a warning to others. 
Valentin himself suggested, with grotesque 
minuteness, that they might be utilized for 
purposes of artistic study, by slow torture 
in ateliers, as models for gladiatorial 
pieces or Christian martyrdoms. Only 
Laminski held his tongue and shrugged 
his shoulders philosophically. He appeared 
to be neither surprised nor shocked at the 
tidings of the outrage. He was interested 
chiefly in the subsidiary question of what 
arrests had been made ; and when the paper 
came in — extra special, hot pressed — he 
glanced at it with some concern, read the 
names and descriptions of the three work- 
men " detained on suspicion," and, lighting 
a cigarette with a nonchalant air, went on 
with his painting. 

At home at the Boulevard St. Michel that 
evening, Essie spoke with some natural 



horror and loathing of this 
meaningless explosion. 

" How detestable," she 
cried, " to fling a bomb like 
that, in an open place, where 
you may injure anybody ! 
So wrong, and so silly ! I 
hope they've caught the 
wicked people who did it ! " 
Stanislas gazed at her with 
deep eyes of tender com- 
miseration. He laid his hand 
on her golden head. 

" My child," he said, caress- 
ingly, " you don't understand 
these questions of politics. 
How should you, indeed, who 
are a pure daughter of the 
people, a child of toil, born 
in a free land, from brave 
tillers of the soil, who cast 
off long since the rotten 
fetters of tyranny ? It is 
otherwise in Europe. Here 
we have to fight a hard battle 
against the strong. We must 
use such poor arms as tyrants 
leave us. All is fair in war, 
and it is open war now be- 
tween the bourgeoisie and the 
Friends of Liberty. They 
would kill us if they could ; 
we will kill them in return for it. You 
see, it is all a fair field and no favour." 

"But, Stanislas," Essie cried, "you don't 
mean to say you approve of these wretches 
who maim and destroy innocent women and 
children ? If their bombs only blew up 
tyrants — I don't know about that ; you see, 
I'm a woman, and I never pretend to under- 
stand politics. America, of course, is a free 
country." (Essie really believed it.) " We 
have no tyrants. And if all you tell me about 
tyrants is true, I can almost understand how 
people who have lost their own fathers or 
sons by the despots' commands, might do 
anything almost to get rid of such wretches. 
But this is a Republic, where people are 
quite free, and I don't know why the Friends 
of Liberty should want to kill poor, helpless 
souls, sitting by chance at a cafe— good folks 
who, perhaps, may hate the tyrants just as 
much as they do. I don't see the use of 
indiscriminate revolution." 

Stanislas ran his fingers gently over the 
smooth, bright locks. It was charming to 
hear her in defence of the bourgeoisie. The 
difference between their natures took his 
fancy, just as much as it had taken Essie's. 



144 



THE STRAND MAGAZINE. 



" You don't understand these things, my 
child," he said, fondling her affectionately. 
" By-and-by, when you've lived a little 
longer in Europe, and when I've had time to 
unfold my ideas to you slowly, you'll take a 
more sensible view of the matter. But, after 
all, why discuss it ? Sit down in your chair 
by my side here, little one, and let me go on 
reading you those lines of Victor Hugo's." 

Still, for the next few weeks, in spite of 
what he said, a vague uneasiness oppressed 
poor Essie. It was dreadful to think that 
dear Stanislas, who wouldn't himself have 
injured a mouse, should seem to palliate, and 
even to condone, the hateful crimes of these 
detestable Anarchists. It was dreadful, too, 
that he should speak of the people who per- 
petrated such acts by the same name as 
the one he applied to his own associates, the 
Friends of Freedom. Moreover, Essie 
noticed that during those next few weeks, 
while outrages were attempted in various 
parts of Paris, Stanislas went out more fre- 
quently than ever to his nocturnal meetings. 
Strange men came and went most mysteriously 
au sixieme. It quite distressed her. Dear 
Stanislas was so good, she knew he could 
find excuses for the wickedest creatures, and 
she loved him for his charity. But she 
urged upon him often that the Friends 
of Freedom should protest in the strongest 
possible terms against these hateful crimes 
that were now being perpetrated every day 
around them. The more earnestly she 
spoke, the more did Stanislas smile and 
pinch her little ear : but he answered 
gravely that she was quite right, and, 
if only he knew how, he would do his 
best to prevent such outrages. Yet what 
could he say that was of any avail ? 
They worked underground in darkness 
and silence : not even the police could 
discover the lairs of these secret con- 
spirators. 

So things went on for a week or two. 
To Essie's great delight, the more she 
talked about the wickedness of dynamite, 
the more frankly did Stanislas begin to 
agree with her. She could quite under- 
stand how his poetic mind, misled just 
at first by its hatred of tyrants, had 
failed to dwell enough at the earliest 
outset upon the atrocity of these out- 
rages. But it was all coming home to 
him. She hoped she had made him feel 
how wicked these men were, and had 
enlisted the sympathies of the Friends 
of Liberty on the side of the poor 
creatures who sat unthinking in the 



cafes or churches which the Anarchists 
menaced. 

At last, one night, a little incident happened 
which filled Essie's soul with unspeakable 
forebodings. It was a beautiful spring 
evening ; the horse-chestnuts were in bloom ; 
she leaned out of her window and looked 
forth upon the boulevard. All the world was 
promenading. In the distance she saw 
Stanislas, coming from the direction of the 
great corner fountain, and by his side 
another man, with whom he was talking 
earnestly. How handsome he looked, and 
how vivid, dear Stanislas : she loved to see 
him when he talked with such eagerness. 
She watched them down the road ; they 
approached the house. Stanislas was carry- 
ing a basket with singular care. Essie 
followed them with her eyes till they 
reached the gateway. She heard them on 
the stairs, still conversing closely. Pure 
curiosity impelled her to go to her door 
which opened upon the landing, and say 
" Bonsoir" to Stanislas. As she looked out, 
Stanislas's eyes caught hers. He raised his 
hat mechanically. As he did so, he gave a 
start. He seemed troubled and disquieted. 
For a second the basket almost dropped 




' STANISLAS WAS CARRYING A BASKET. 



THE DYNAMITER'S SWEETHEART 



M5 



from his hands ; the other man caught it 
hastily away, with a gesture of horror not 
unmixed with anger. He said something 
aloud in Polish, which Essie did not under- 
stand. But she knew what it meant, for all 
that. It meant, " Take care, stupid ! " And 
then, after a pause, "That was a narrow 
escape, that time ! " 

Yet even so, she had no glimpse of the 
truth. She merely felt in some dim way 
this was a Friend of Liberty, and that 
Stanislas and he were engaged in animated 
political discussion. She slank back, abashed 
that she should have seemed to dear Stanislas 
to have been spying and eavesdropping. 
Her one strong feeling was a feeling of self- 
reproach for the obvious untimeliness of her 
awkward intervention. 

The man stopped upstairs in Stanislas's 
room for two long hours ; and Essie, listen- 
ing hard, could hear no voices. That was 
odd, for, as a rule, when dear Stanislas's 
friends came, be they Poles or painters, they 
were noisy enough in all conscience, as she 
could hear for herself without any need for 
listening. But this evening, not a sound. 
What on earth could it mean ? Essie's heart 
stood still. Could they be whispering to- 
gether ? And if whispering, what then ? 
Must not that mean plotting ? Plotting to 
get rid of that terrible Czar ? Essie's tender 
little soul couldn't bear to think of it. 

At last the man went. Essie heard Stanis- 
las come to the door to say " Good-night " to 
him. " Au revoir, camarade !" " Au revoir, 
Laminski ! Courage, mon ami ! " and then 
— the heavy footsteps. 

As soon as they had died away, Essie 
could stand it no longer. She stole quietly 
upstairs, and knocked a gentle knock at 
Stanislas's door. There was a moment's 
pause ; then, slowly, hesitatingly, it opened 
an inch, and through that timid chink a white 
face looked out at her. Oh, so white and 
terrified ! Who could ever have believed 
Stanislas Laminski's face could grow in a 
moment so transformed and unbeautified ? 
It frightened her to see it. But as for 
Stanislas himself, after a second's pause he 
became suddenly calm : his colour returned, 
and he burst out laughing. It was a foolish 
laugh, such as often comes upon one in the 
moment of reaction after a passing terror. 
" Ho, it's you, then, dear little one ? " he 
cried, much relieved, bundling something 
away hurriedly, and closing the cupboard 
door. " You took me by surprise. I thought 
it was the concierge, come to ask for my rent, 
which I hadn't got ready for him." 

Vol. viii.— 20. 



Essie looked in his face, and knew he was 
playing with her. But her own self-respect 
wouldn't allow her to say so to him. She 
only gave a glance of those innocent eyes, 
and asked him, earnestly : " Stanislas, you 
must tell me ! What had you just now on 
the stairs in that basket ? " 

He gazed at her once more with a tender 
yet mocking smile. " My little one," he 
said, " it was thus that Eve fell : you have 
too much curiosity. Eggs, eggs, my dear 
Essie ; and I was afraid of breaking them. 
See, here is the proof : I've been making an 
omelette for Lorikoffs supper." And he held 
up the dish, a small frying-pan, before her. 

"Stanislas," she cried, drawing back, "you 
are deceiving me ! I know you are playing 
with me. You ought to tell me this. I can't 
think what to make of it." 

He laid his gentle hand on her bright 
head once more. " Essie, darling," he said, 
" I told you long ago, you don't under- 
stand, and will never understand, European 
politics." 

She let him draw her to his side, and kiss 
her pale and troubled forehead. But that 
was all. Then she broke away from him, 
sobbing. With a heavy heart, she rushed 
downstairs to the lonely solitude of her own 
little bedroom. For the first time in her life, 
since she came to Paris, she was aware of 
her loneliness. Oh ! why had she ever left 
her dear, quiet Vermont to come and study 
art in this terrible Europe ? 

All night long she lay awake. Yet even 
so, she never for one moment suspected the 
worst. She never once realized it. She only 
knew that Stanislas had some grave political 
secret he would not reveal to her, and she 
feared if she knew it she would greatly dis- 
approve of it. 

Next day was Sunday. Stanislas had told 
her before he would be engaged next morn- 
ing, and she watched at the window to see 
him go out — sat and watched, she knew not 
why, in an agony of foreboding. At last she 
heard his step, light and resonant, on the 
staircase. He did not look in as he passed 
to say "Good-morning." That increased her 
suspicion, for 'twas Stanislas's way, even 
when going to his political meetings, to 
" take his sailing orders," as he playfully 
phrased it This time he went rapidly out, 
without saying a word, and emerged into the 
street. He was carrying something in the 
pocket of his coat, nursing it tenderly as he 
went. Essie's heart stood still. What could 
Stanislas be bent upon ? 

She couldn't bear the suspense. She 



ia6 



THE STRAND MAGAZINE. 




' THEN SHE BROKE AWAY FROM HIM, SOBBING. 



snatched up her hat and hurried eagerly 
after him. 

As for Stanislas himself, he was by no 
means in a hurry. He strolled gently along, 
selecting the least crowded side of the street, 
and carefully avoiding contact with anybody. 
Essie followed him, unperceived, dogging his 
steps as he went, but pausing behind the 
trees that lined the boulevard whenever he 
looked behind him with a glance of caution. 
Even now, she hardly knew what it all could 
mean ; she could not believe such horrors of 
anyone with whom she herself had mixed on 
terms of affection. Her simple little New 
England mind could not grasp the full 
awesomeness of Continental Anarchy. 

Laminski crossed the Pont St. Michel, 
with a careless glance at Notre Dame as he 
passed, and took his way along the quays of 
the North Bank, by the least crowded side, 
in the direction of the Louvre. Essie fol- 
lowed him, breathless. At the corner by 
St. Germain lAuxerrois, the man who had 
spent so long a time with him the night 
before stood idly lounging. Essie knew him 
in a moment. As they passed one another, 
the two men gave a nod of recognition, with 
a meaning glance. The stranger's eyes 
seemed to ask, " Is everything ready ? " 
Laminski's answered, mutely, "Yes, ready, 
quite ready." 



They took no further heed of one another; 
but Essie noticed that when Stanislas had 
passed on twenty yards or thereabouts, the 
other man followed him, just as she herself 
was doing, with an attentive air, as who should 
say, " I will watch that you do it." 

Stanislas turned aside towards the church 
doors of St. Germain. The bells chimed 
merrily. People were flocking in and out to 
mass. Essie stood still and trembled. 

Stanislas took a little bottle half imper- 
ceptibly between his left finger and thumb, 
and fumbled for a second with the unseen 
object in his coat pocket. Then he turned 
round with a look of recognition and triumph 
toward the other man in the background. 
" See here," he seemed to say ; " I am keeping 
our compact." At the very same instant, his 
eye lighted on Essie. Suddenly his hand 
faltered ; his cheek grew pale ; the dare-devil 
look faded fast out of his eyes, and a terrible 
fear seemed to come over him at sight of 
her. 

Essie felt she must find out what it meant. 
She rushed up to him imploringly. Stanislas 
held a long, round cylinder of iron in his 
hand. With a gesture of fierce love Essie 
flung her arms round him. His face grew 
deadly white. He tried to unwind her arms. 
" Take care, darling ! " he cried. " Run as 
far as you can ! If it explodes, it kills you. 



THE DYNAMITER'S SWEETHEART. 



i47 



It is not for such as you. Go, go ; it's 
loaded ! " 

He raised his arm to fling it. A bomb ! a 
bomb ! Essie knew what it meant now. A 
ghastly light burst in upon her. These, then, 
were the methods of the Friends of Free- 
dom ! She seized his hand in her horror. 

" Stanislas," she cried, wildly, " you shall 
not do it. You shall not burden your soul 




HE RAISED HIS ARM TO FLING IT. 



with that awful crime. Though I die, I will 
save them. Though I die, I will save you." 
And she caught it in her hands and tore il 
fiercely away from him. 

" Essie, Essie," he shrieked, in an access 
of mad remorse, " it's going to burst ! Fling 
it away ! Fling it away from you ! " 

But Essie held it still, and rushed out with 
a sudden thrill of heroic resolve into the wide 
open space between St. Ger- 
main and the Louvre. She 
waved one arm around. "Dan- 
ger ! Danger ! " she shouted. 
The crowd, aghast, fell 
back to left and right. 
Stanislas rushed after her, 
and strove to wrench it from 
her grasp. But just as he 
approached her, Essie dashed 
it on the pavement by the 
rails of the Louvre, well away 
from the crowd of awe-struck 
people. Whatever came of 
it, she would save those 
innocent lives, she would 
save that guilty soul from the 
consequences of its own un- 
holy endeavour. 

A crash ! A flash ! A 
white cloud of dense smoke ! 
Stanislas Laminski clapped 
his hands before his face. 
Essie stood there, immova- 
ble. When the cloud cleared 
away, broken fragments 
littered the pavement by the 
rails, and two bleeding 
corpses lay mangled on the 
ground — Laminski's and 
Essie's. Not one other was 
hurt. She had saved the 
innocent. 

" She meant to set fire to 
the Louvre," said the papers; 
"but, owing to a fortunate 
scuffle with her accomplice, 
the bomb exploded prema- 
turely." 




XXVI.— ZIG-ZAG FINAL. 

Now, after I have classified 
and displayed many things in a 
system of confusion proper to 
my want of design, at the end 
there remain many old friends, 
from the woolly llama that lives 
by Tom, the white camel, to 
the vagrant mouse that steals 
pinches of the porcupine's din- 
ner. Some are in the 
catalogue, many are 
not. There is an old 



horse that drags a refuse cart, 
and, having been here for years, 
is past all surprising. He would 
plod past a two-headed dragon, 
or a unicorn with a fiery tail, in 
the same state of calmness in 
which he plods past Jim the 
rhinoceros or Jack the bison. 
Far different is it with the vener- 
able canal horses that tramp 




ZIG-ZAGS AT THE ZOO. 



149 



resignedly by the Regent's Canal, 
where it cuts the Gardens in two. 
They see nothing, for that costs a 
shilling, and the Society spend many 
shillings in fences ; but they hear, 
and most of all they hear the parrots 
when they hang out for an airing 
on a warm day, There is a 
wicked old blue macaw — a fine, 
big fellow, whose name should be 
Blue Peter — who tricks the un- 
happy canal horses all day ; shout- 
ing " Wo — o — o — o ! " at the top of 
his voice, and chuckling with unholy 
delight when the angular victim 
welcomes the opportunity for a rest. 





wo — o — o — o ! ' 



Some creatures there are that are 
uncatalogued because they hold 
official positions. Such are Nell, 
Church's terrier, divers cats, and 
the matronly old hens that hatch 
out eggs for rarer birds. The fat 
importance of one old Cochin hen 
and the tremendous number and 




ONLY ANOTHER SELL. 



" HAD HIM AGAIN ! " 



thickness of her 
garments make 
out a complete 
claim on her 
behalf to be 
called Mrs. 
Gamp. Mrs. 

Gamp's must be a life of surprises. For a respectable suburban 
hen of the strictest propriety and the most regular and orderly 
habits is naturally surprised when a long and conscientious sitting 
results in a brood of spindly cranes or an ear-splitting choir of 
laughing jackasses. It shocks her sense of the proper and respect- 
able, and confuses her orderly intellect. For in her suburban 
intelligence what is eccentric is disreputable, and so she trots 



i5° 



THE STRAND MAGAZINE. 



about distracted, half afraid of her family and half of 
the gallinaceous Mrs, Grundy. The life is undermining 
her nervous system. No hen's nervous system will 
stand an eternal uncertainty as to whether a particular 
egg will turn to a thing all beak, or a thing all legs, or 
thing to swim, a thing to run, or a thing to fly ; with 
a reserve possibility that it may turn to a 
snake or a lizard. There is dignity in Mrs. 
Gamp's official position, I grant ; but it is a 
wearing work, hatching out a perpetual suc- 
cession of nightmares. 

In the Zoo you may find curiosities on 
both sides of the bars. On the human side 
there are, at least, as many as on the other. 
Maybe a company of sailors, who go to a 
show for a laugh, and guffaw conscientiously 
at everything, to the intense scandal of the 





$v" * 



MRS. GAM1'. 



o a « ■■ ■ ■■ TT ^» 



COME FOR FUN. 



serious creatures, like Bob 
the Bactrian and most of 
the owls : or a worthy 
group of country cousins, 
each brimming over with 
perfect ignorance of any 
animal more recondite 
than a cow, and imparting 
their mis-information to 
each other with great free- 
dom and confidence. 
The intelligent foreigner 
comes here, too, in those 

peculiar felt and straw hats that only he knows how to get ; hats often with little cockades of 

feathers stuck in the sides of the bands. He begins at house number one, and solemnly and 

diligently broods over each animal in succession, to the very 

last in house sixty-four. He is fat of face, and usually wears 

spectacles. Also there is the unhappy elementary school, 

sternly marshalled in a trotting column and dragged neck 

and crop through the grounds for the enlargement of their 

information and the improvement of their beraddled minds ; 

whom the unbending schoolmaster impels ever the gravel 

paths at the pace calculated to get them out of the gate 

within the time allowed for their free visit ; and whose pre- 
cise acquisitions in zoology on the run, and impressions of 

the whole business in general, one would rather like to 

analyze. 

But pre-eminent, perkiest, cheekiest of all things not in 




NTELLIGENT FOREIGNERS. 




1 NOW THEN ! HURRY UP BEHIND THERE ! 



ZIG-ZAGS AT THE ZOO. 



151 




"how do, tommy?" 

the catalogue, is the sparrow. He flies casually to 
and fro among wolves, tigers, and leopards, with an 
airy confidence and self-sufficiency that nothing 




AH, JIM, DEAH BOY ! 




" mornin', duke! FEEL CHIPPY?" 



ciple that his exalted position carries with it certain 
social duties which he must not neglect, he makes a 
flying call on Duke, the Nubian lion, and patronizes 







bigger than a sparrow 
can imitate. He drops 
in casually on Tom, the 
big tiger, as he takes 
his afternoon nap in his 
back-yard, and bounces 
to and fro under Tom's 
nose, discussing zoo- 
logical politics on a foot- 
ing of perfect equality, 
and disturbing Tom's 
nap. Feeling his vast 
importance, and quite 
recognising the prin- 




t's 



152 



THE STRAND MAGAZINE. 




him with the proper grace, suggesting various impossible alterations in 
regimen by way of improving Duke's digestion and mending his 
temper. He hops across the Gardens and discusses the prospects of 
the hay-crop with Jim the rhinoceros, who is dietetically interested in 
the matter ; then, having swaggered past the retiring mice who 
assume a residuary interest in Jim's dinner, he hangs about a little 
at a bar — partly because it is the nobby thing, and partly because 
of the crumbs — and so across Regent's Park and off to a cricket 
match at Lord's. 



But there are crea- 
tures that have not 
been spoken of in 
these pages, yet still 
have respectable posi- 
tions in the catalogue. 
Instance the llamas 
and guanacos. I am 
not fond of the gua- 
naco. He spits — and 
with an accurate aim. 
Take care how you 
rouse the ire of the guanaco 
for he spits suddenly 
without warning. You 
rouse his ire in many hundreds of thousands of ways 
By wearing a peculiar hat or an ordinary hat ; w 



PREPARATION. 





EXPECTORATION. 



ing quietly or with a swagger, or 
running or sitting or standing still ; 
by speaking, shouting, or remain- 
ing silent, or by existing in the 
same world ; and, his ire roused, 
he promptly spits, while Tom, the 
wicked old white camel next door, 



looks on with delighted 
approval. He would spit 
himself if he could, but 
prefers biting. 

Then there is the secre- 
tary bird, with his many 
quills and his smart, War 
Office air. He has caused 
many a pitched zoological 
battle over the question 
whether he is a stork or a 
hawk ; and his own battles 
with snakes cover him with 
glory and fill him with snake. He struts smartly about, plainly 
a secretary who knows his business and will stand no nonsense. 
There are all the stags, finest and largest and most disdainful 
of all being the wapiti. But a stag is always in a preliminary 
and incipient state of weeping, in spite of his assumption of 



APPROBATION. 




A SMART SECRETARY. 



ZIG-ZAGS AT THE ZOO. 



J 53 



" side," and until he becomes veni- 
son is really an uninteresting crea- 
ture. Some day, perhaps, he will 
properly make up his mind and 
have a good cry and get it over. 
Then he may turn his mind to 
something else and take a worthy 




THE YAK. 



"SIDE." 



position in society. As it is, the stag at best, if he has any definite character at all, is a 
hypocrite. He poses as the beautiful, mild, benignant, timid, loving and oppressed creature, 
and is at heart a savage. Worthy and well-meaning people, with soft hearts and heads of 
blubber, sob and squeal because he is hunted. He is such a darling, timid, trustful creature, 
say they, and to hunt him is the act of cowardly brutality. Now, I challenge any of these 
kind people to approach a group of the mildest park deer, any day late in August, select a 

quiet-looking buck, and attempt, in the 
most friendly way, to pat or stroke him. 
I am not particular as to the sort of deer — 
big red deer or little roebuck — but I hope 
the challenge won't be accepted, because 
the worthy adventurer will probably ex- 
perience a dig in the ribs that will cause him 
a ride home on a hurdle. I say nothing 
of wilder deer. Verb, sat sap. Still, the 
stag is a characterless creature, 
even more charac- 
ter in the yak, just 
opposite, mild creature 
as it is, with its old 
womanish air of coddl- 
ing in its black silk 
shawl, and its pathetic 
grunt. 

Also there are the Bar- 
bary wild sheep, who 
turn up in all sorts of 
unexpected corners of 
the place. There is 
something truculently 
timid, savagely mild, 
about the name of the 




There is 




'Vol. viii. — 21. 



SAVAGELY MILD. 



i54 



THE STRAND MAGAZINE. 



Barbary wild sheep. 
It begins like thun- 
der and dies away 
like a zephyr. It re- 
minds one of Sidney 
Smith's lethally- 
preaching Wild 
Curates. 

But behold, I 
have forgotten some 
of the most noble of 
the uncatalogued ; 
chief among them 
Nell, Church's fox- 
terrier, who (herself 
and her numerous 
descendants) makes 
deadly war on the 
uncatalogued, un- 
housed, uninvited 
undesired rats, them- 
selves a large part of 
the population of 
this place, and a 
destructive. An 




excellent official is 
Nell, honest, dili- 
gent, and with quick 
jaws. But no less 
worthy in their way 
are the regiment of 
battle-scarred cats, 
terrors among mice 
and rats both. Chief 
among these is Mr. 
Toots, of the camel- 
house, the intimate 
friend of Bob the 
Bactrian ; and the . 
elephant -house cat 
and the ostrich- 
house cat occupy 
high positions. But 
many a stout heart 
beats quicker at the 
smell of mouse be- 
neath the fur of the 
more obscure rank 
and file of the un- 
catalogued cats. 



UNCATALOGUED. 




.Tw/HV/e 



Martin Hewitt, Investigator. 

By Arthur Morrison. 
VI.— THE STANWAY CAMEO MYSTERY. 







[oxff^ 



T is now a fair number of years 
back since the loss of the 
famous Stanway Cameo made 
its sensation, and the only 
person who had the least inter- 
est in keeping the real facts of 
the case secret has now been dead for some 
time, leaving neither relatives nor other 
representatives. Therefore no harm will be 
done in making the inner history of the case 
public ; on the contrary, it will afford an 
opportunity of vindicating the professional 
reputation of Hewitt, who is supposed to 
have completely failed to make anything of 
the mystery surrounding the case. At the 
present time connoisseurs in ancient objects 
of art are often heard regretfully to wonder 
whether the wonderful cameo — so suddenly 
discovered and so quickly stolen — will ever 
again be visible to the public eye. Now this 
question need be asked no longer. 

The cameo, as may 
be remembered from 
the many descriptions 
published at the time, 
was said to be abso- 
lutely the finest extant. 
It was a sardonyx of 
three strata — one of 
those rare sardonyx 
cameos in which it has 
been possible for the 
artist to avail himself of 
three different colours 
of superimposed stone 
— the lowest for the 
ground and the two 
others for the middle 
and high relief of the 
design. In size it was, 
for a cameo, immense, 
measuring seven and a 
half inches by nearly 
six. In subject it was 
similar to the renowned 
Gonzaga Cameo — now 
the property of the Czar 
of Russia — a male and 
a female head with 
Imperial insignia ; but 
in this case supposed 
to represent Tiberius 
Claudius and Messa- 



lina. Experts considered it probably to be 
the work of Athenion, a famous gem-cutter 
of the first Christian century, whose most 
notable other work now extant is a smaller 
cameo, with a mythological subject, preserved 
in the Vatican. 

The Stanway Cameo had been discovered 
in an obscure Italian village by one of those 
travelling agents who scour all Europe for 
valuable antiquities and objects of art. This 
man had hurried immediately to London with 
his prize and sold it to Mr. Claridge, of St. 
James's Street, eminent as a dealer in such 
objects. Mr. Claridge, recognising the 
importance and value of the article, lost no 
opportunity of making its existence known, 
and very soon the Claudius Cameo, as it was 
at first usually called, was as famous as any 
in the world. Many experts in ancient art 
examined it, and several large bids were made 
for its purchase. In the end it was bought 




MR. CLARIDGE. 



156 



THE STRAND MAGAZINE. 



by the Marquis of Stanway for ^5,000 for 
the purpose of presentation to the British 
Museum. The Marquis kept the cameo at 
Ihis town house for a few days, showing it to 
liis friends, and then returned it to Mr. 
Claridge to be finally and carefully cleaned 
before passing into the national collection. 
Two nights after, Mr. Claridge's premises 
were broken into and the cameo stolen. 

Such, in outline, was the generally known 
history of the Stanway Cameo. The circum- 
stances of the burglary in detail were these . 
Mr. Claridge had himself been the last to 
leave the premises at about eight in the 
evening, at dusk, and had locked the small 
side door as usual. His assistant, Mr. Cutler, 
had left an hour and a half earlier. When 
Mr. Claridge left everything was in order, 
and the policeman on fixed point duty just 
opposite, who bade Mr. Claridge good 
evening as he left, saw nothing suspicious 
during the rest of his term of duty, nor did 
his successors at the point throughout the 
night. 

In the morning, however, Mr. Cutler, the 
assistant, who arrived first, soon after nine 
o'clock, at once perceived that something 
unlooked-for had hap- 
pened. The door, of 
which he had a key, was 
still fastened, and had 
not been touched; but 
in the room behind the 
shop Mr. Claridge's pri- 
vate desk had been 
broken' open, and the 
contents turned out in 
confusion. The door 
leading on to the staircase 
had also been forced. 
Proceeding up the stairs, 
Mr. Cutler found another 
door open, leading from 
the top landing to a small 
room — this door had 
been opened by the sim- 
ple expedient of unscrew- 
ing and taking off the 
lock, which had been on 
the inside. In the ceiling 
of this room was a trap- 
door, and this was six or 
eight inches open, the 
edge resting on the half- 
wrenched-off bolt, which 
had been torn away when 
the trap was levered open 
from the outside. 

Plainly, then, this was 




LORD STANWAY. 



the path of the thief or thieves. Entrance 
had been made through the trap-door, two 
more doors had been opened, and then the 
desk had been ransacked. Mr. Cutler after- 
wards explained that at this time he had no 
precise idea what had been stolen, and did 
not know where the cameo had been left on 
the previous evening. Mr. Claridge had him- 
self undertaken the cleaning and had been 
engaged on it, the assistant said, when he 
left. 

There was no doubt, however, after Mr. 
Claridge's arrival at ten o'clock : the cameo 
was gone. Mr. Claridge, utterly confounded 
at his loss, explained incoherently, and with 
curses on his own carelessness, that he had 
locked the precious article in his desk on 
relinquishing work on it the previous even- 
ing, feeling rather tired and not taking the 
trouble to carry it as far as the safe in 
another part of the house. 

The police were sent for at once, of course, 
and every investigation made, Mr. Claridge 
offering a reward of ^500 for the recovery 
of the cameo. The affair was scribbled cf 
at large in the earliest editions of the evening 
papers, and by noon all the world was aware 
of the extraordinary theft 
of the Stanway Cameo, 
and many people were 
discussing the probabili- 
ties of the case, with very 
indistinct ideas of what 
a sardonyx cameo pre- 
cisely was. 

It was in the afternoon 
of this day that Lord 
Stanway called on Martin 
Hewitt. The Marquis 
was a tall, upstanding 
man of spare figure and 
active habits, well known 
as a member of learned 
societies and a great 
patron of art. He hur- 
ried into Hewitt's private 
room as soon as his name 
had been announced, 
and, as soon as Hewitt 
had given him a chair, 
plunged into business. 

" Probably you al- 
ready guess my business 
with you, Mr. Hewitt — 
you have seen the early 
evening papers ? Just so ; 
then I needn't tell you 
again what you already 
know. My cameo is 



MARTIN HEWITT, INVESTIGATOR. 



*57 



gone, and I badly want it back. Of course, 
the police are hard at work at Claridge's, but 
I'm not quite satisfied. I have been there 
myself for two or three hours, and can't see 
that they know any more about it than I do 
myself. Then, of course, the police, naturally 
and properly enough from their point of 
view, look first to find the criminal — regard- 
ing the recovery of the property almost as a 
secondary consideration. Now, from my 
point of view, the chief consideration is the 
property. Of course I want the thief caught, 
if possible, and properly punished ; but still 
more, I want the cameo." 

" Certainly it is a considerable loss. Five 
thousand pounds- " 

"Ah, but don't misunderstand me. It 
isn't the monetary value of the thing that I 
regret. As a matter of fact, I am indemni- 
fied for that already. Claridge has behaved 
most honourably — more than honourably. 
Indeed, the first intimation I had of the loss 
was a cheque from him for ^5,000, with a 
letter assuring me that the restoration to me 
of the amount I had paid was the least he 
could do to repair the result of what he 
called his unpardonable carelessness. Legally, 
I'm not sure that I could demand anything 
of him, unless I could prove very flagrant 
neglect indeed to guard against theft." 

" Then I take it, Lord Stanway," Hewitt 
observed, " that you much prefer the cameo 
to the money ? " 

" Certainly. Else I should never have 
been willing to pay the money for the cameo. 
It was an enormous price — perhaps much 
abave the market value, even for such a 
valuable thing ; but I was particularly anxious 
that it should not go out of the country. Our 
public collections here are not so fortunate 
as they should be in the possession of the 
very finest examples of that class of work. 
In short, I had determined on the cameo, 
and, fortunately, happen to be able to carry 
out determinations of that sort without 
regarding an extra thousand pounds or so as 
an obstacle. So that, you see, what I want is 
not the value, but the thing itself. Indeed, 
I don't think I can possibly keep the money 
Claridge has sent me — the affair is more his 
misfortune than his fault. But I shall say 
nothing about returning it for a little while : 
it may possibly have the effect of sharpening 
everybody in the search." 

" Just so. Do I understand that you 
would like me to look into the case indepen- 
dently, on your behalf?" 

"Exactly. I want you, if you can, to 
approach the matter entirely from my point 



of view — your sole object being to find the 
cameo. Of course, if you happen on the 
thief as well, so much the better. Perhaps, 
after all, looking for the one is the same thing 
as looking for the other ? " 

" Not always ; but usually it is, of course — 
even if they are not together, they certainly 
have been at one time, and to have one is 
a very long step toward having the other. 
Now, to begin with, is anybody suspected ? " 

" Well, the police are reserved, but I 
believe the fact is they've nothing to say. 
Claridge won't admit that he suspects anyone, 
though he believes that whoever it was must 
have watched him yesterday evening through 
the back window of his room, and must have 
seen him put the cameo away in his desk ; 
because the thief would seem to have gone 
straight to the place. But I half fancy 
that, in his inner mind, he is inclined to 
suspect one of two people. You see, a 
robbery of this sort is different from others. 
That cameo would never be stolen, I imagine, 
with the view of its being sold — it is much 
too famous a thing ; a man might as well 
walk about offering to sell the Tower of 
London. There are only a very few people 
who buy such things, and every one of them 
knows all about it. No dealer would touch 
it — he could never even show it, much less 
sell it, without being called to account. So 
that it really seems more likely that it has 
been taken by somebody who wishes to keep 
it for mere love of the thing — a collector, in 
fact — who would then have to keep it secretly 
at home, and never let a soul beside himself 
see it, living in the consciousness that at his 
death it must be found and his theft known ; 
unless, indeed, an ordinary vulgar burglar 
has taken it without knowing its value." 

" That isn't likely," Hewitt replied. " An 
ordinary burglar, ignorant of its value, 
wouldn't have gone straight to the cameo 
and have taken it in preference to many 
other things of more apparent w r orth, which 
must be lying near in such a place as 
Claridge's." 

"True — I suppose he wouldn't. Although 
the police seem to think that the breaking in 
is clearly the work of a regular criminal — 
from the jemmy marks, you know, and so 
on." 

" Well, but what of the two people you 
think Mr. Claridge suspects ? " 

" Of course, I can't say that he does suspect 
them — I only fancied from his tone that it 
might be possible ; he himself insists that he 
can't in justice suspect anybody. One of 
these men is Hahn, the travelling agent who 



i5» 



THE STRAND MAGAZINE. 



sold him the cameo. This man's character 
does not appear to be absolutely irreproachable 
— no dealer trusts him very far. Of course, 
Claridge doesn't say what he paid him for 
the cameo — these dealers are very reticent 
about their profits, which I believe are 
as often •• something like 500 per cent, 
as not. But it seems Hahn bargained to 
have something extra, depending on the 
amount Claridge could sell the carving for. 
According to the appointment he should have 
turned up this morning, but he hasn't been 
seen, and nobody seems to know exactly 
where he is." 

" Yes ; and the other person ? " 

" Well, I scarcely like mentioning him, 
because he is certainly a gentleman, and I 
believe, in the ordinary way, quite incapable 
of anything in the least degree dishonourable ; 
although, of course, they say a collector has 
no conscience in the matter of his own 
particular hobby, and certainly Mr. Woollett 
is as keen a collector as any man alive. He 
lives in chambers in the next turning past 
Claridge's premises — can, in fact, look into 
Claridge's back windows if he likes. He 
examined the cameo several times before I 
bought it, and made several high offers 
— appeared, in fact, very anxious indeed to 
get it. After I had bought it, he made, I 
understand, some rather strong remarks 
about people like myself ' spoiling the 
market ' by paying extravagant prices, and 
altogether cut up 'crusty,' as they say, at 
losing the specimen." Lord Stanway paused 
for a few seconds, and then went on : " I'm 
not sure that I ought to mention Mr. 
Woollett's name for a moment in connection 
with such a matter — I am personally perfectly 
certain that he is as incapable of anything 
like theft as myself. But I am telling you 
all I know." 

" Precisely. I can't know too much in a 
case like this. It can do no harm if I know 
all about fifty innocent people, and may save 
me from the risk of knowing nothing about 
the thief. Now, let me see : Mr. Woollett's 
rooms, you say, are near Mr. Claridge's place 
of business ? Is there any means of com- 
munication between the roofs ? " 

" Yes, I am told that it is perfectly possible 
to get from one place to the other by walking 
along the leads." 

" Very good. Then, unless you can think 
of any other information that may help me, I 
think, Lord Stanway, I will go at once and 
look at the place." 

"Do, by all means. I think I'll come 
back with you. Somehow, I don't like to 



feel idle in the matter, though I suppose I 
can't do much. As to more information — I 
don't think there is any." 

" In regard to Mr. Claridge's assistant, 
now : do you know anything of him ? " 

" Only that he has always seemed a very 
civil and decent sort of man. Honest, I 
should say, or Claridge wouldn't have 
kept him so many years — there are a 
good many valuable things about at 
Claridge's. Besides, the man has keys of the 
place himself, and even if he were a thief he 
wouldn't need to go breaking in through the 
roof." 

" So that," said Hewitt, " we have, directly 
connected with this cameo, besides yourself, 
these people : Mr. Claridge, the dealer, Mr. 
Cutler, the assistant in Mr. Claridge's 
business, Hahn, who sold the article to 
Claridge, and Mr. Woollett, who made bids 
for it. These are all ? " 

"All that I know of. Other gentlemen 
made bids, I believe, but I don't know 
them." 

" Take these people in their order. Mr. 
Claridge is out of the question, as a dealer 
with a reputation to keep up would be, 
even if he hadn't immediately sent you this 
^5,000 — more than the market value, I 
understand, of the cameo. The assistant is 
a reputable man, against whom nothing is 
known, who would never need to break in, 
and who must understand his business well 
enough to know that he could never attempt 
to sell the missing stone without instant 
detection. Hahn is a man of shady antece- 
dents, probably clever enough to know as 
well as anybody how to dispose of such 
plunder — if it be possible to dispose of it at 
all ; also, Hahn hasn't been to Claridge's 
to-day, although he had an appointment to 
take money. Lastly, Mr. Woollett is a gentle- 
man of the most honourable record, but a 
perfectly rabid collector, who had made every 
effort to secure the cameo before you bought 
it ; who, moreover, could have seen Mr. 
Claridge working in his back room, and who 
has perfectly easy access to Mr. Claridge's 
roof. If we find it can be none of these, 
then we must look where circumstances 
indicate." 

There was unwonted excitement at Mr. 
Claridge's place when Hewitt and his client 
arrived. It was a dull old building, and in 
the windows there was never more show than 
an odd blue china vase or two, or, mayhap, a 
few old silver shoe-buckles and a curious 
small-sword. Nine men out of ten would have 
passed it without a glance ; but the tenth at 



MARTIN HE WITT, INVESTIGA TOR. 



i59 



least would probably know it for a place 
famous through the world for the number and 
value of the old and curious objects of art 
that had passed through it. 

On this day two or three loiterers, having 
heard of the robbery, extracted what gratifica- 
tion they might from staring at nothing 
between the railings guarding the windows. 
Within, Mr. Claridge, a brisk, stout, little old 
man, was talking earnestly to a burly police 
inspector in uniform, and Mr. Cutler, who 
had seized the opportunity to attempt 




'"TALKING to a burly police-inspector." 



amateur detective work on his own account, 
was grovelling perseveringly about the floor 
among old porcelain and loose pieces of 
armour in the futile hope of finding any clue 
that the thieves might have considerately 
dropped. 

Mr. Claridge came forward eagerly. 

" The leather case has been found, I am 
pleased to be able to tell you, Lord Stanway, 
since you left." 

" Empty, of course ? " 

" Unfortunately, yes. It had evidently 
been thrown away by the thief behind a 



chimney-stack a roof or two away, where the 
police have found it. But it is a clue, of 
course." 

" Ah, then this gentleman will give me his 
opinion of it," Lord Stanway said, turning to 
Hewitt. " This, Mr. Claridge, is Mr. Martin 
Hewitt, who has been kind enough to come 
with me here at a moment's notice. With 
the police on the one hand, and Mr. Hewitt 
on the other, we shall certainly recover that 
cameo if it is to be recovered, I think." 
Mr. Claridge bowed, and beamed on 
Hewitt through his spectacles. 
"I'm very glad Mr. Hewitt 
has come," he said. " Indeed, 
I had already decided to give 
the police till this time to- 
morrow, and then, if they had 
found nothing, to call in Mr. 
Hewitt myself." 

Hewitt bowed in his turn, 
and then asked, "Will you 
let me see the various break- 
ages ? I hope they have not 
been disturbed." 

" Nothing whatever has 
been disturbed. Do exactly 
as seems best — I need, 
scarcely say that everything 
here is perfectly at your dis- 
posal. You know all the 
circumstances, of course ? " 

" In general, yes. I sup- 
pose I am right in the belief 
that you have no resident 
housekeeper ? " 

" No," Claridge replied, " I 
haven't. I had one house- 
keeper who sometimes 
pawned my property in the 
evening, and then another 
who used to break my most 
valuable china, till I could 
never sleep or take a moment's 
ease at home for fear my 
stock was being ruined here. 
So I gave up resident housekeepers. I felt 
some confidence in doing it, because of the 
policeman who is always on duty opposite." 
" Can I see the broken desk ? " 
Mr. Claridge led the way into the room 
behind the shop. The desk was really a sort 
of work-table, with a lifting top and a lock. 
The top had been forced roughly open by 
some instrument which had been pushed in 
below it and used as a lever, so that the catch 
of the lock was torn away. Hewitt examined 
the damaged parts and the marks of the lever v 
and then looked out at the back window. 



i6o 



THE STRAND MAGAZINE. 



" There are several windows about here," 
he remarked, " from which it might be 
possible to see into this room. Do you 
know any of the people who live behind 
them ? " 

" Two or three I know," Mr. Claridge 
answered, " but there are two windows — 
the pair almost immediately before us — 
belonging to a room or office which is to 
let. Any stranger might get in there and 
watch." 

" Do the roofs above any of those windows 
communicate in any way with yours ? " 

" None of those directly opposite. Those 
at the left do — you may walk all the way 
along the leads." 

" And whose windows are they ? " 

Mr. Claridge hesitated. " Well," he said, 
" they're Mr. Woollett's — an excellent cus- 
tomer of mine. But he's a gentleman and — 
well, I really think it's absurd to suspect 
him." 

" In a case like this," Hewitt answered, 
" one must disregard nothing but the im- 
possible. Somebody — whether Mr. Woollett 
himself or another person—could possibly 
have seen into this room from those windows, 
and equally possibly could have reached this 
roof from that one. Therefore, we must not 
forget Mr. Wool- 
lett. Have any of 
your neighbours 
been burgled dur- 
ing the night ? I 
mean that stran- 
gers anxious to get 
at your trap-door 
would probably 
have to begin by 
getting into some 
other house close 
by, so as to reach 
your roof." 

" No," Mr. Cla- 
ridge replied ; 
" there has been 
nothing of that 
sort. It was the first 
thing the police 
ascertained." 

Hewitt ex- 
amined the broken 
door and then 
made his way up 
the stairs, with the 
others. The un- 
screwed lock of the 
door of the top 
back room re- 



quired little examination. In the room, below 
the trap-door, was a dusty table on which 
stood a chair, and at the other side of the 
table sat Detective-Inspector Plummer, whom 
Hewitt knew very well, and who bade him 
" good day ' and then went on with his 
docket. 

" This chair and table were found as they 
are now, I take it ? " Hewitt asked. 

"Yes," said Mr. Claridge; "the thieves, 
I should think, dropped in through the trap- 
door, after breaking it open, and had to 
place this chair where it is to be able to 
climb back." 

Hewitt scrambled up through the trap-way 
and examined it from the top. The door 
was hung on long external barn-door hinges, 
and had been forced open in a similar 
manner to that practised on the desk. A 
jemmy had been pushed between the frame 
and the door near the bolt, and the door had 
been prised open, the bolt being torn away 
from the screws in the operation. 

Presently, Inspector Plummer, having 
finished his docket, climbed up to the roof 
after Hewitt, and the two together went to 
the spot, close under a chimney-stack on the 
next roof but one, where the case had been 
found. Plummer produced the case, which 




"the two together went to the spot." 



MARTIN HE WITT, INVESTIGA TOR. 



161 



he had in his coat-tail pocket, for Hewitt's 
inspection. 

" I don't see anything particular about it ; 
do you ? " he said. ■ " It shows us the way 
they went, though, being found just here." 

" Well, yes," Hewitt said ; " if we kept on 
in this direction we should be going towards 
Mr. Woollett's house, and his trap - door, 
shouldn't we ? " 

The inspector pursed his lips, smiled, and 
shrugged his shoulders. " Of course, we 
haven't waited till now to find that out," 
he said. 

" No, of course. And, as you say, I don't 
think there is much to be learned from this 
leather case. It is almost new, and there 
isn't a mark on it." And Hewitt handed it 
back to the inspector. 

" Well," said Plummer, as he returned the 
case to his pocket, " what's your opinion ? " 

" It's rather an awkward case." 

" Yes, it is. Between ourselves, I don't 
mind telling you, I'm having a sharp look- 
out kept over there " — Plummer jerked his 
head in the direction of Mr. Woollett's 
chambers — "because the robbery's an unusual 
one. There's only two possible motives — 
the sale of the cameo or the keeping of it. 
The sale's out of the question, as you know 
— the thing's only saleable to those who 
would collar the thief at once, and who 
wouldn't have the thing in their places now 
for anything. So that it must be taken to 
keep — and that's a thing nobody but the 
maddest of collectors would do — just such 

persons as " and the inspector nodded 

again towards Mr. Woollett's quarters. " Take 
that with the other circumstances," he added, 
"and I think you'll agree it's worth while 
looking a little farther that way. Of course, 
some of the work — taking off the lock and so 
on — looks rather like a regular burglar, but 
it's just possible that anyone badly wanting 
the cameo would hire a man who was up to 
the work." 

" Yes, it's possible." 

" Do you know anything of Hahn, the 
agent ? " Plummer asked, a moment later. 

" No, I don't. Have you found him yet ? " 

" I haven't yet, but I'm after' him. I've 
found he was at Charing Cross a day or two 
ago, booking a ticket for the Continent. 
That and his failing to turn up to-day seem 
to make it worth while not to miss him if we 
can help it. He isn't the sort of man that 
lets a chance of drawing a bit of money go 
for nothing." 

They returned to the room. "Well," said 
Lord Stanway, "what's the result of the 

*Vol. viii.— 22. 



consultation ? We've been waiting here very 
patiently while you two clever men have been 
discussing the matter on the roof." 

On the wall just beneath the trap-door a 
very dusty old tall hat hung on a peg. This 
Hewitt took down and examined very closely, 
smearing his fingers with the dust from the 
inside lining. " Is this one of your valuable 
and crusted old antiques ? " he asked, with a 
smile, of Mr. Claridge. 

" That's only an old hat that I used to keep 
here for use in bad weather," Mr. Claridge 
said, with some surprise at the question. " I 
haven't touched it for a year or more." 

" Oh, then it couldn't have been left here 
by your last night's visitor," Hewitt replied, 
carelessly replacing it on the hook. " You 
left here at eight last night, I think ? " 

" Eight exactly — or within a minute or 
two." 

" Just so. I think I'll look at the room 
on the opposite side of the landing, if you'll 
let me." 

" Certainly, if you'd like to," Claridge 
replied ; " but they haven't been there — it is 
exactly as it was left. Only a lumber-room, 
you see," he concluded, flinging the door 
open. 

A number of partly broken-up packing- 
cases littered about this room, with much 
other rubbish. Hewitt took the lid of one 
of the newest-looking packing-cases, and 
glanced at the address label. Then he 
turned to a rusty old iron box that stood 
against a wall. " I should like to see behind 
this," he said, tugging at it with his hands. 
" It is heavy and dirty. Is there a small 
crowbar about the house, or some similar 
lever ? " 

Mr. Claridge shook his head. " Haven't 
such a thing in the place," he said. 

"Never mind," Hewitt replied, "another 
time will do to shift that old box, and 
perhaps after all there's little reason for 
moving it. I will just walk round to the 
police-station, I think, and speak to the 
constables who were on duty opposite during 
the night. I think, Lord Stanway, I have 
seen all that is necessary here." 

" I suppose," asked Mr. Claridge, " it is 
too soon yet to ask if you have formed 
any theory in the matter ? " 

" Well — yes, it is," Hewitt answered. 
" But perhaps I may be able to surprise you 
in an hour or two ; but that I don't promise. 
By-the-bye," he added, suddenly, " I suppose 
you're sure the trap-door was bolted last 
night ? " 

" Certainly," Mr. Claridge answered, 



l62 



THE STRAND MAGAZINE. 



•smiling. " Else how could the bolt have 
been broken ? As a matter of fact, I believe 
the trap hasn't been opened for months. 
Mr. Cutler, do you remember when the trap- 
-door was last opened ? " 

Mr. Cutler shook his head. " Certainly 
inot for six months," he said. 

"Ah, very well — it's not very important," 
Hewitt replied. 

As they reached the front shop, a fiery- 
faced old gentleman bounced in at the street 
door, stumbling over an umbrella that stood 
in a dark corner, 
.and kicking it three 
yards away. 

" What the deuce 
•do you mean," he 
-roared at Mr. Cla- 
ridge, " by sending 
these police people 
smelling about my 
rooms and asking 
■questions of my ser- 
vants ? What do 
you mean, sir, by 
treating me as a 
thief? Can't a gen- 
tleman come into 
this place to look at 
an article without 
being suspected of 
stealing it, when it 
disappears through 
your wretched care- 
lessness? I'll ask 
my solicitor, sir, if 
there isn't a remedy 
for this sort of 
thing. And if I 
catch another of 
your spy fellows on 
my staircase, or 
crawling about my 
roof, I'll — I'll shoot 
him ! " 

"Really, Mr. 
Woollett," began 

Mr. Claridge, somewhat abashed, but the 
angry old man would hear nothing. 

" Don't talk to me, sir — you shall talk to 
my solicitor. And am I to understand, my 
lord" — turning to Lord Stanway — -"that 
these things are being done with your 
approval ? " 

"Whatever is being done," Lord Stanway 
answered, "is being done by the police on 
their own responsibility, and entirely without 
prompting, I believe, by Mr. Claridge — 
certainly without a suggestion of any sort 



A FIERY-FACED OLD GENTLEMAN BOUNCED IN AT THE DOOR 



from myself. I think that the personal 
opinion of Mr. Claridge — certainly my own — 
is that anything like a suspicion of your 
position in this wretched matter is ridiculous. 
And if you will only consider the matter 

calmly " 

" Consider it calmly? Imagine yourself con- 
sidering such a thing calmly, Lord Stanway. 
I won't consider it calmly. I'll — I'll — I won't 
have it. And if I find another man on my 
roof, I'll pitch him off." And Mr. Woollett 
bounced into the street again. 

" Mr. Woollett 
is annoyed," Hewitt 
observed, with a 
smile. " I'm afraid 
Plummer has a 
clumsy assistant 
somewhere." 

Mr. Claridge said 
nothing, but looked 
rather glum. For 
Mr. Woollett was a 
most excellent cus- 
tomer. 

Lord Stanway 
and Hewitt walked 
slowly down the 
street, Hewitt star- 
ing at the pave- 
ment in profound 
thought. Once or 
twice Lord Stan- 
way glanced at his 
face, but refrained 
from disturbing 
him. Presently, 
however, he ob- 
served, " You seem 
at least, Mr. Hewitt, 
to have noticed 
something that has 
set you thinking. 
Does it look like a 
clue ? " 

Hewitt came out 
of his cogitation at 
once. " A clue ? " he said ; " the case bristles 
with clues. The extraordinary thing to me is 
that Plummer, usually a smart man, doesn't 
seem to have seen one of them. He must 
be out of sorts, I'm afraid. But the case is 
decidedly a very remarkable one." 

" Remarkable, in what particular way ? " 
" In regard to motive. Now it would seem, 
as Plummer was saying to me just now on 
the roof, that there were only two possible 
motives for such a robbery. Either the man 
who took all this trouble and risk to break 




MARTIN HE WITT, INVESTIGATOR. 



163 



into Claridge's place must have desired to 
sell the cameo at a good price, or he must 
have desired to keep it for himself, being a 
lover of such things. But neither of these 
has been the actual motive." 

" Perhaps he thinks he can extort a good 
sum from me by way of ransom ? " 

" No, it isn't that. Nor is it jealousy, nor 
spite, nor anything of that kind. I know the 
motive, I think — but I wish we could get hold 
of Hahn. I will shut myself up alone and 
turn it over in my mind for half an hour 
presently." 

" Meanwhile, what I want to know is, 
apart from all your professional subtleties — 
which I confess I can't understand — can you 
get back the cameo ? " 

" That," said Hewitt, stopping at the corner 
of the street, " I am rather afraid I cannot — 
nor anybody else. But I 
am pretty sure I know the 
thief." 

" Then surely that will 
lead you to the cameo ? " 

" It may, of course ; but 
then it is just possible that 
by this evening you may 
not want to have it back 
after all." 

Lord Stanway stared in 
amazement. 

"Not want to have it hg 

back ! " he exclaimed. ? . - ... 

■"Why, of course, I shall f ? 

want to have it back. I 
•don't understand you in the 
least ; you talk in conun- 
drums. Who is the thief 
you speak of?" 

" I think, Lord Stanway," < 
Hewitt said, " that perhaps 
I had better not say until I 
have quite finished my in- *. 
■quiries, in case of mistakes. 
The case is quite an extra- 
ordinary one, and of quite 
n. different character from 
what one would at first 
naturally imagine, and I 
must be very careful to 
guard against the possibility 
of error. I have very little 
fear of a mistake, however, 
and I hope I may wait on 
you in a few hours at Pic- 
cadilly with news. I have 
only to see the policemen." 

"Certainly, come when- 
ever you please. But why 



£? 



see the policemen ? They have already most 
positively stated that they saw nothing what- 
ever suspicious in the house or near it." 

" I shall not ask them anything at all 
about the house," Hewitt responded. " I 
shall just have a little chat with them — 
about the weather." And with a smiling 
bow, he turned away, while Lord Stanway 
stood and gazed after him, with an expres- 
sion that implied a suspicion that his special 
detective was making a fool of him. 

In rather more than an hour Hewitt was back 
in Mr. Claridge's shop. "Mr. Claridge," he said, 
" I think I must ask you one or two questions 
in private. May I see you in your own room ?" 

They went there at once, and Hewitt, 
pulling a chair before the window^ sat down 
with his back to the light. The dealer shut 




CAN YOU GET BACK THE CAMEO I 



164 



THE STRAND MAGAZINE. 



the door, and sat opposite him, with the 
light full in his face. 

"Mr. Claridge," Hewitt proceeded, slowly, 
" when did you first find that Lord Stairway's 
cameo was a forgery ? " 

Claridge literally bounced in his chair. 
His face paled, but he managed to stammer, 
sharply, " What — -what — what d'you mean ? 
Forgery ? Do you mean to say I sell 
forgeries ? Forgery ? It wasn't a forgery ! " 

" Then," continued Hewitt, in the same 
deliberate tone, watching the other's face the 
while, "if it wasn't a forgery, why did you 
destroy it and burst your trap-door and desk 
to imitate a burglary ? " 

The sweat stood thick on the dealer's face, 
and he gasped. But he struggled hard to 
keep his faculties together, and ejaculated, 
hoarsely : " Destroy it ? What — what — I 
didn't — didn't destroy it ! " 

" Threw it into the river, then — don't pre- 
varicate about details." 

" No — no — it's a lie. Who says that ? 
Go away. You're insulting me ! " Claridge 
almost screamed. 

"Come, come, Mr. Claridge," Hewitt said, 
more placably, for he had gained his point ; 
" don't distress yourself, and don't attempt to 
deceive me — you can't, I assure you. I 
know everything you did before you left here 
last night — everything." 

Claridge's face worked painfully. Once or 
twice he appeared to be on the point of re- 
turning an indignant reply, but hesitated, and 
finally broke down altogether. 

" Don't expose me, Mr. Hewitt," he 



pleaded ; " I beg you won't expose me. I 
haven't harmed a soul but myself. I've paid 
Lord Stanway every penny back, and I 
never knew the thing was a forgery till I 
began to clean it. I'm an old man, Mr. 
Hewitt, and my professional reputation has 
been spotless till now. I beg you won't 
expose me." 

Hewitt's voice softened. " Don't make 
an unnecessary trouble of it," he said. " I see 
a decanter on your sideboard — let me give 
you a little brandy and water. Come, there's 
nothing criminal, I believe, in a man's breaking 
open his own desk, or his own trap-door, for 
that matter. Of course, I'm acting for Lord 
Stanway in this affair, and I must, in duty, 
report to him without reserve. But Lord 
Stanway is a gentleman, and I'll undertake 
he'll do nothing inconsiderate of your feelings, 
if you're disposed to be frank. Let us talk 
the affair over — tell me about it." 

" It was that swindler Hahn who deceived 
me in the beginning," Claridge said. " I 
have never made a mistake with a cameo 
before, and I never thought so close an 
imitation was possible. I examined it most 
carefully, and was perfectly satisfied, and 
many experts examined it afterwards, and 
were all equally deceived. I felt as sure as 
I possibly could feel that I had bought one 
of the finest, if not actually the finest cameo 
known to exist. It was not until after it 
had come back from Lord Stanway's, and 
I was cleaning it, the evening before 
last, that in course of my work it became, 
apparent that the thing was nothing but 




DON T EXPOSE ME, MR. HEWITT.' 



MARTIN HEWITT, INVESTIGATOR. 



i55 



a consummately clever forgery. It was 
made of three layers of moulded glass, nothing 
more or less. But the glass was treated in 
a way I had never before known of, and the 
surface had been cunningly worked on till it 
defied any ordinary examination. Some of 
the glass imitation cameos made in the latter 
part of the last century, I may tell you, are 
regarded as marvellous pieces of work, and, 
indeed, command very fair prices, but this 
was something quite beyond any of those. 

" I was amazed and horrified. I put the 
thing away and went home. All that night I 
lay awake in a state of distraction, quite 
unable to decide what to do. To let the 
cameo go out of my possession was im- 
possible. Sooner or later the forgery would 
be discovered, and my reputation — the 
highest in these matters in this country, 
I may safely claim, and the growth of 
nearly fifty years of honest application and 
good judgment — this reputation would be 
gone for ever. But without considering 
this, there was the fact that I had taken 
^5,000 of Lord Stanway's money for a mere 
piece of glass, and that money I must, in 
mere common honesty as well as for my own 
sake, return. But how? The name of the 
Stanway Cameo had become a household 
word, and to confess that the whole thing 
was a sham would ruin my reputation and 
destroy all confidence — past, present, and 
future — in me and in my transactions. 
Either way spelled ruin. Even if I confided 
in Lord Stanway privately, returned his 
money and destroyed the cameo, what then ? 
The sudden disappearance of an article so 
famous would excite remark at once. It had 
been presented to the British Museum, and 
if it never appeared in that collection, 
and no news were to be got of it, people 
would guess at the truth at once. To make 
it known that I myself had been deceived 
would have availed nothing. It is my busi- 
ness not to be deceived ; and to have it known 
that my most expensive specimens might be 
forgeries would equally mean ruin, whether I 
sold them cunningly as a rogue or ignorantly 
as a fool. Indeed, my pride, my reputation 
as a connoisseur is a thing near to my 
heart, and it would be an unspeakable 
humiliation to me to have it known that I 
had been imposed on by such a forgery. 
What could I do ? Every expedient seemed 
useless, but one — the one I adopted. It was 
not straightforward, I admit ; but, oh ! Mr. 
Hewitt, consider the temptation — and re- 
member that it couldn't do a soul any harm. 
No matter who might be suspected, I knew 



there could not possibly be evidence to make 
them suffer. All the next day — yesterday— 
I was anxiously worrying out the thing in my 
mind and carefully devising the — the trick, 
I'm afraid you'll call it — that you by some 
extraordinary means have seen through. It 
seemed the only thing — what else was there ? 
More I needn't tell you — you know it. I 
have only now to beg that you will use your 
best influence with Lord Stanway to save me 
from public derision and exposure. I will do 
anything — pay anything — anything but 
exposure, at my age, and with my position." 

"Well, you see," Hewitt replied, thought- 
fully, " I've no doubt Lord Stanway will show 
you every consideration, and certainly I will 
do what I can to save you, in the circum- 
stances ; though you must remember that 
you have done some harm — you have caused 
suspicions to rest on at least one honest man. 
But as to reputation — I've a professional 
reputation of my own. If I help to conceal 
your professional failure, I shall appear to 
have failed in my part of the business." 

" But the cases are different, Mr. Hewitt- 
consider. You are not expected — it would be 
impossible — to succeed invariably; and there 
are only two or three who know you have 
looked into the case. Then your other con- 
spicuous successes— — -" 

"Well, well — we shall see. One thing I 
don't know, though — whether you climbed 
out of a window to break open the trap-door, 
or whether you got up through the trap-door 
itself and pulled the bolt with a string 
through the jamb, so as to bolt it after you." 

" There was no available window — I used 
the string, as you say. My poor little cunning 
must seem very transparent to you, I fear. 
I spent hours of thought over the question of 
the trap-door — how to break it open so as to 
leave a genuine appearance, and especially 
how to bolt it inside after I had reached the 
roof. I thought I had succeeded beyond 
the possibility of suspicion ; how you pene- 
trated the device surpasses my comprehension. 
How, to begin with, could you possibly know 
thit the cameo was a forgery ? Did you ever 
see it ? " 

" Never. And if I had seen it, I fear I 
should never have been able to express an 
opinion on it ; I'm not a connoisseur. As a 
matter of fact, I didn't know that the thing 
was a forgery in the first place; what I knew 
in the first place was that it was you who- 
had broken into the house. It was from 
that that I arrived at the conclusion — after 
a certain amount of thought — that the cameo 
must have been forged. Gain was out of 



i66 



THE STRAND MAGAZINE. 



the question — you, beyond all men, could 
never sell the Stanway Cameo again, and, 
besides, you had paid back Lord Stanway's 
money. I knew enough of your reputation 
to know that you would never incur the scandal 
of a great theft at your place for the sake cf 
getting the cameo for yourself, when you might 
have kept it in the beginning, with no trouble 
and mystery. Consequently, I had to look for 
another motive, and at first another motive 
seemed an impossibility. Why should 
you wish to take all this trouble to lose 
^5,000 ? You had, nothing to gain ; 
perhaps you had something to save — your 
professional reputation, for instance. Looking 
at it so, it was plain that you were suppressing 
the cameo — burking it; since, once taken as 
you had taken it, it could never come to light 
again. That suggested the solution of the 
mystery at once — you had discovered, after 
the sale, that the cameo was not genuine." 

" Yes, yes — I see ; but you say you began 
with the knowledge that I broke into the 
place myself. How did you know that ? I 
cannot imagine a trace " 

" My dear sir, you left traces everywhere. 
In the first place, it struck me as curious, 
before I came here, that you had sent off 
that cheque for ^5,000 to Lord Stanway an 
hour or so after the robbery was discovered 
— it looked so much as though you were sure 
of the cameo never coming back, and were 
in a hurry to avert suspicion. Of course, I 
understood that, so far as I then knew the 
case, you were the most unlikely person in 
the world, and that your eagerness to repay 
Lord Stanway might be the most creditable 
thing possible. But the point was worth 
remembering, and I remembered it. 

" When I came here I saw suspicious in- 
dications in many directions, but the con- 
clusive piece of evidence was that old hat 
hanging below the trap-door." 

" But I never touched it, I assure you, Mr. 
Hewitt, I never touched the hat — haven't 
touched it for months " 

" Of course. If you had touched it, I might 
never have got the clue. But we'll deal with 
the hat presently ; that wasn't what struck me 
at first. The trap-door first took my attention. 
Consider, now : here was a trap-door, most 
insecurely hung on external hinges ; the 
burglar had a screw -driver, for he took 
off the door-lock below with it. Why, then, 
didn't he take this trap off by the hinges, 
instead of making a noise and taking longer 
time and trouble to burst the bolt from its 
fastenings ? And why, if he were a stranger, 
was he able to plant his jemmy from the out- 



side just exactly opposite the interior bolt ? 
There was only one mark on the frame, and 
that precisely in the proper place. 

" After that, I saw the leather case. It 
tkid not been thrown away, or some corner 
would have shown signs of the fall. It had 
been put down carefully where it was found. 
These things, however, were of small import- 
ance compared with the hat. The hat, as 
you know, was exceedingly thick with dust — 
the accumulation of months. But, on the 
top side, presented toward the trap-door, were 
a score or so of raindrop marks. That was 
all. They were new marks, for there was no 
dust over them ; they had merely had time 
to dry and cake the dust they had fallen on. 
Now, there had been no rain since a sharp 
shower just after seven o'clock last flight. 
At that time you, by your own statement, 
were in the place. You left at eight, and the 
rain was all over at ten minutes or a quarter- 
past seven. The trap-door, you also told me, 
had not been opened for months. The 
thing was plain. You, or somebody who 
was here when you were, had opened 
that trap-door during, or just before, that 
shower. I said little then, but went, as soon 
as I had left, to the police-station. There I 
made perfectly certain that there had been no 
rain during the night by questioning the 
policemen who were on duty outside all the 
time. There had been none. I knew every- 
thing. 

"The only other evidence there was 
pointed with all the rest. There were no rain- 
marks on the leather case ; it had been put 
on the roof as an after-thought when there 
was no rain. A very poor after-thought, let 
me tell you, for no thief would throw away 
a useful case that concealed his booty and 
protected it from breakage, and throw it away 
just so as to leave a clue as to what direction 
he had gone in. I also saw, in the lumber- 
room, a number of packing-cases — one with 
a label dated two days back — which had 
been opened with an iron lever ; and yet, 
when I made an excuse to ask for it, you 
said there was no such thing in the place. 
Inference : you didn't want me to compare 
it with the marks on the desks and doors. 
That is all, I think." 

Mr. Claridge looked dolorously down at 
the floor. "I'm afraid," he said, "that I 
took an unsuitable role when I undertook to 
rely on my wits to deceive men like you. I 
thought there wasn't a single vulnerable spot 
in my defence, but you walk calmly through 
it at the first attempt. Why did I never 
think of those raindrops ? " 



MARTIN HEWITT, INVESTIGATOR. 



167 



"Come," said Hewitt, with a smile, "that 
sounds unrepentant. I am going, now, to 
Lord Stanway's. If I were you, I think I 
should apologize to Mr. Woollett in some 
way." ■£ 

Lord Stanway, who, in the hour or two of 



unblushing Hahn walked smilingly into his 
office two days later to demand the extra 
payment agreed on in consideration of 
the sale. He had been called suddenly 
away, he explained, on the day he should 
have come, and hoped his missing the 




^ 




HAHN WALKED SMILINGLY INTO HIS OFFICE. 



reflection left him after parting with Hewitt, 
had come to the belief that he had employed 
a man whose mind was not always in order, 
received Hewitt's story with natural astonish- 
ment. For some time he was in doubt 
as to whether he would be doing right in 
acquiescing in anything but a straightforward 
public statement of the facts connected with 
the disappearance of the cameo, but in the 
end was persuaded to let the affair drop, on 
receiving an assurance from Mr. Woollett 
that he unreservedly accepted the apology 
offered him by Mr. Claridge. 

As for the latter, he was at least sufficiently 
punished in loss of money and personal 
humiliation for his escapade. But the 
bitterest and last blow he sustained when the 



appointment had occasioned no incon- 
venience. As to the robbery of the cameo, 
of course he was very sorry, but "pishness 
was pishness," and he would be glad of 
a cheque for the sum agreed on. And 
the unhappy Claridge was obliged to pay 
it, knowing that the man had swindled 
him, but unable to open his mouth to 
say so. 

The reward remained on offer for a long 
time — indeed, it was never publicly with- 
drawn, I believe, even at the time of Claridge's 
death. And several intelligent newspapers 
enlarged upon the fact that an ordinary 
burglar had completely baffled and defeated 
the boasted acumen of Mr. Martin Hewitt, 
the well-known private detective. 



Engine Drivers and Their IVork. 

By Alfred T. Story. 
I. 



I '' w 



"jEANIE DEANS," WITH JEM BROWN, DRIVER. 



[Pliotograpk. 




HERE is perhaps no body of 
men to whom the public are 
so much indebted for their 
daily convenience and safety 
as to the engine driver and 
his mate, the fireman. Every- 
body, of course, is acquainted with their 
appearance as they come thundering into 
the station upon their engines, often enough 
grimy and weather-stained, but sturdy and 
resolute-looking, as they need well be, seeing 
the dangerous and responsible work they 
have to do. We may, too, have sauntered 
up to the marvellous machine which they 
have in charge — a machine, perhaps, the 
most wonder-working the world has ever 
seen — and "taken stock," to use the common 
phrase, of its construction, so far as that 
can be done from the outside, and of the 
multiplicity of valves and appliances whereby 
its Titanic powers are brought into action 
and controlled. We may have watched the 
ease with which it is put in motion and 
with which it is stopped, and it may have 
appeared to us a simple thing after all to run 
a locomotive engine, and so take charge 
daily of the lives and fortunes of hundreds 
of people. But to few has it occurred, 
perhaps, to inquire more narrowly into the 
daily work of these men, and into the course 



of training they have to undergo before they 
can be intrusted with the charge of an 
engine. 

Marvellous as has been the development 
of railways all over the world, and compli- 
cated as is the system by which the world's 
land-travel is conducted, there is, perhaps, 
no part of the railway system so admirable, 
and showing so much care, as the method 
by which the men who have the actual 
working of this instrument of civilization 
are selected and trained for their work. It 
is, perhaps, a misfortune that we do not 
know more of the lives and the education of 
the men who do the hard work of the world ; 
we might then have more sympathy with 
them and with their aims and aspirations. It 
will not be the fault of the present writer if, 
after the perusal of this article, the reader 
does not know all, or nearly all, about the 
engine driver and his work. For, as will be 
seen, the driver himself has been approached 
and interviewed as to his work and the means 
by which he attained his position. 

Three representative companies have been 
selected from which to obtain information. 
The London and North-Western Railway was 
first approached, and Lord Stalbridge, the 
chairman of the company, at once gave every 
facility for looking over the works of the 



ENGINE DRIVERS AND THEIR WORK. 



169 



company ; seeing and talking with the men, 
and, in short, for obtaining such information 
as was desired. It need hardly be said that 
the general managers of the two other lines 
selected, the Great Western and the London 
and South-Western, were equally courteous. 

On all the railways of this country the 
locomotive department is under one respon- 
sible head, who has charge of the construction 
of the engines, as well as of their daily em- 
ployment. Under him, however, are inspec- 
tors and foremen, who are responsible for the 
supply of engines, and for their assignment 
to their proper duties over a given district. 
To them also belong the selection and 
charge of the men who run the engines. 
No one is better qualified, therefore, to give 
information touching the work of drivers and 
others engaged about a locomotive engine 
than these inspectors, many of whom have 
risen from the ranks. This, however, is not 
the case with Mr. A. L. Mumford, who has 
charge of the locomotives on the London and 
North -Western Railway between London 
and Crewe, his office being at Rugby ; but 
his knowledge of a locomotive engine and 
of the duties of those who have charge 
of it is as thorough as though he had gone 
through all the grades ; and for much of the 
following account of an engine driver's career 
and duties I am indebted to him. 

The future engine driver generally begins 
his career about fourteen years of age, 
though some may commence at the age of 
sixteen or seventeen. Sometimes they start 
in the fitter's room, in which repairs are done 
to running engines ; sometimes as bar-lads 
and call-lads. The duty of bar-lads is to put 
the bars into the fire-boxes of engines. A 
call-lad is employed to call up drivers and 
firemen in the morning, so that there may be 
no delay through over-sleeping. As the men 
sometimes live a mile — or perhaps more — 
distant from the station, and they have to be 
called at all hours of the night, the call- 
boy must be free from tremors and night 
fears ; in other words, he must be a youth 
of nerve and courage. This appears to 
be especially the case in the neighbour- 
hood of Willesden, where, notwithstand- 
ing the very matter-of-fact character of 
a large railway junction, ghosts have been 
known to prowl, putting the call-boys into 
unseasonable frights. 

From these various duties the youth 
generally goes on to engine-cleaning, helping 
an older cleaner at first, and doing the 
rougher parts of the engine ; and then, when 
he knows the work thoroughly, having an 

•Vol. viii.— 23. 



engine assigned entirely to himself. By 
this means the future driver learns to know 
all about an engine, from observing it 
being prepared for duty, and seeing it come 
off duty, and likewise in all stages of " con- 
valescence." 

From cleaner, the next upward step is that 
of extra fireman, who is employed assisting 
drivers and moving engines in the shed from 
the coal stage to the place for going out. 
After some time spent in this way he goes as 
a regular fireman upon a goods train. But 
before he is made a full fireman he has to 
pass through an examination as to his general 
knowledge of his duties, and of the rules 
relating thereto. This examination, so far as 
men in Mr. Mumford's district are concerned, 
generally takes place in his office. Questioned 
on the point as to wages, Mr. Mumford 
said : — 

"As an extra fireman, his pay when firing 
is 3s. 6d. a day. As soon as he passes as 
a regular fireman, and signs his agreement, he 
gets 3s. od. a day for twelve months ; after 
that he gradually increases in wage until he 
goes on a main line express train, goods or 
passenger, when he receives 4s. 6d. a day. 
The next step in advance is to become a 
driver." 

In answer to the question how long it takes 
to reach the last-named stage, Mr. Mumford 
said : — 

" It depends upon the demand for engine- 
men and on the capacity of the man how long 
it takes him to go through the various stages 
of fireman to be a driver. The average time 
would not be less than five years. Some 
firemen remain in that stage eight or ten 
years, some as long as twelve years. 

"The driver's first experience is to turn 
and move engines in the shed yard. Then 
he passes on to a shunting engine and to a 
local goods train, next to an ordinary goods 
train, then to a main-line express goods, then 
to a local passenger train, then to a better- 
class passenger train, and lastly to a through 
express." 

In reply to a question as to the wages of 
drivers, Mr. Mumford said : — 

"A shunting engine driver gets 5s. 6d. a 
day ; a local goods train driver, 6s. 6d. ; and 
so on, the pay gradually rising to 8s., 
according to the nature of the work done. 
As to hours of work, the engine-man's time 
is sixty hours a week. But, in running, 120 
miles is reckoned as a day's work for through 
goods trains, and 150 miles for passenger 
trains. From here (Rugby) to London and 
back," added Mr. Mumford, " is 165^ miles, 



170 



THE STRAND MAGAZINE. 



and is reckoned as a day and an hour. From 
Crewe to London is 157^2 miles, and is 
equal to a day's work, or ten hours ; there 
must be a little give and take." 

Continuing, Mr. Mumford said : " In 
assigning a man's duties our aim is to 
obviate, as far as possible, his being employed 
more than ten or eleven hours a day, and 
to enable him to be at home as much 
as possible. With this object in view, the 
men are arranged into ' links,' for certain 
fixed duties. For instance, we have two 
men here who work certain trains. One 
joins the Scotch express here with his engine 
and takes it up to London. He returns by 
the 8.50 north train, finishing his duty at 
Rugby. The second man takes the train 
here and goes on with it to Crewe, where he 
arrives at 12.49. He returns at 10.30 a.m. 
with another Scotch express, and is relieved 
here, where another engine comes out to 
take it on to London. The man who takes 
up the 5.2 p.m. to London, arriving at 7, 
leaves London again at 10.10 p.m., with the 
Liverpool and Manchester express, and 
brings it to Rugby. Another man takes the 
train with his engine at Rugby, and works it 
to Crewe at 1.35 a.m. He leaves there again 
at 3.30 with a return train, and is at Rugby 
at 4.57, when the first engine takes it up 
again. AVe keep two big engines here for 
this service, and the two men I have 
spoken of work them. All our trains 
are worked in this way. The ' Charles 
Dickens ' train, which runs from Manchester 
to London every day, 
leaving Manchester at 
8.30 and due in London 
at 12.55, an d leaving 
London again at 4, 
arriving in Manchester 
at 8.20, is worked between 
here and London by two 
engines and two men, 
who take the trips alter- 
nately—a trip to London 
and then a day off. The 
same arrangement holds 
with regard to the 2 p.m. 
from London to Crewe — 
the 'Corridor' train — 
arriving at 5.20. Two of 
our best men are here 
now, and you may talk 
to them yourself and 
elicit any information 
from them you like. I 
should say, however, that 
the quality of our drivers 




RICHARD WALKER. 
From a Photo, by Speight. Rugby 



has improved greatly during the last 
thirty years — especially in regard to habits of 
sobriety." 

" I suppose a man is fined for drunkenness 
on duty ? " 

"No; he is discharged at once. If a 
man in a siding leaves his engine and goes 
into a public-house, he is at once dismissed. 
But it is very seldom now that a man is dis- 
missed for drunkenness — rarely, indeed, that 
a case is reported. No ; if you look in this 
book you will see the matters for which a 
man is fined." 

In the book in question were recorded 
small fines for " absenting himself without 
leave," "causing damage to buffer," "not 
having engine out of shed in time," "running 
short of water in his tender," " allowing the 
small end of strap to become hot," " allowing 
the engine to smoke," etc. The amount of 
the fine generally ran to a few shillings, half 
a crown being a common figure. 

As regards the offence of allowing an 
engine to smoke, this is strictly forbidden in 
going through towns, where it is liable to 
cause complaint. It is quite needless, too, 
to offend in this way, for if it is necessary in 
stoking to let off smoke, a little steam turned 
into the chimney, by turning the smoke 
white, obviates all cause of complaint. This 
is commonly done to prevent the smoke 
being seen. The information on this point, 
however, was not given by Mr. Mumford. 

The two drivers were now introduced, and 
I proceeded to question them on their 
experience. 

Richard Walker, a re- 
markably sturdy, well- 
preserved man, said : " I 
have been nearly thirty 
years a driver. I began 
my career on the railway 
at the age of fourteen as 
a fitter's assistant, in 
which position I remained 
four or five years. I thus 
became thoroughly ac- 
quainted with the engine 
and all its parts. I was 
to have been a fitter, but 
they would not let me be 
one. Our fitter said there 
was no scope in fitting — 
that there was much more 
scope in driving. So I 
went on the engine. I 
was firing for three or four 1 
years. I started driving 
in February, 1865, at 



ENGINE DRIVERS AND THEIR WORK. 



Peterborough, and went first on the goods. 
I have been sixteen years on express work, 
and am at the top of the tree. I always 
run express and mail trains." 

" And your pay ? " 

" Eight shillings a day." 

" How do you find driving as regards 
health ? " 

" I have always kept my health in the 
work, and have never lost a day through 
accident. I was selected to run the special 
express carrying the Empress of Austria from 
Heme Hill to Crewe." 

" Have you driven the Queen ? " 

" Yes, I drove Her Majesty when she went 
to Derby twelve months ago last spring. I 
drove her from Leamington to Derby on our 
line." 

" I suppose you have to take extra special 
precautions when the Queen travels ? " 

" Oh, yes ; we take very great care of the 
old lady ! We bring out one of our very 
best engines, and it is carefully overhauled. 
Then special precautions are taken all along 
the line, and nothing is allowed to move for 
half an hour before her train is due. Then a 
pilot engine runs a quarter of an hour before 
her train. The locomotive foremen of the 
respective districts and a guard, supplied 
with hand lamp and fog signals, travel on the 
pilot engine. Then there is a distinctive 
code for signalling both the pilot engine 
and the Royal train. This year when Her 
Majesty went to Ballater it was twelve 
strokes, like this : " 

"You take it as an honour, then, to be 
selected to drive the Queen ? " 

" Oh, yes ; we like to be put on that duty, 
although we do not much care to go off our 
own line." 

Mr. Mumford here interposed with the 
remark that one driver who was chosen to 
drive the Queen, on getting back to Willes- 
den from Herne Hill, exclaimed, "Thank 
God, we have got into England again ! " 

There is a good deal of character about 
some of these men, and many good jokes 
are told both of and by them. One old 
stager, who was driving a train that happened 
to be a bit behind time, observed a gentle- 
man go up to the guard, put half a crown into 
his hand, and say : " Do your best, guard, to 
make up your lost time, or I shall lose my 
train at such a junction, which I want very 
much to get." "All right, sir," said the 
guard, touching his hat. Before starting he 
gave a hint to the driver ; but the driver had 
his own views on the " morality " of the 
question, and when his engine sailed into the 



junction, the train the passenger- wished to 
catch was seen to be quietly steaming out 
at the other end of the station. The 
disappointed traveller, greatly annoyed, 
approached the driver and said :. "I thought* 
driver, you might have enabled me to get 
my train. Half a minute would have done 
it." " Ah, sir," replied the old driver, " it 
might have been done easily ; but, you see, 
you greased the wheels at the wrong, end of 
the train." 

In reply to the question, " Will you now 
tell me what is your day's routine ? " Walker 
said : — 

" When we come on duty, the first thing 
we have to do is to report ourselves at the 
office in the shed. We there write our name 
in the book, and our time is taken. This is 
necessary, in order that the timekeeper may- 
see that we are in a proper condition to go 
on duty. We then take a look at the notice 
board to see if there is. anything there 
affecting our particular line. Everything in 
the way of change relating to the working;, 
of the line — change of signals, the arrange- 
ment of the ' links,' and so forth — its 
posted there. This done, we go to ouc 
engine and see that all is in ordeir — the fire 
lighted and steam up. We are expected te& 
be in the shed an hour before the time for ms 
to join the train, in order to give us plenty off 
time for preparation. The next thing, afteu 
seeing that all is in order, is to proceed to> 
the tank and take in water. Then we move 
up to the siding in readiness for the train. 

" I am just now going out with the 5.2 to 
London. I arrive at 7, and leave Euston 
again at 10.10 with the Liverpool and Man- 
chester express, arriving here at 11.45. My 
mate takes the train here and carries it to 
Crewe, and I go to bed. This trip constitutes 
my day's work, although I have only been 
out seven hours; I have, however, run 150 
miles, which constitutes a running day." 

" Having finished your trip, I suppose yota 
have nothing else to do but to go home and 
go to bed ? " 

" Before we can do that, we have to take 
our engine to the coal siding and have it 
supplied with fuel for the next day's run. 
This is the invariable rule. Then we take 
her into the shed and hand her over to the 
turner, who puts her on the turn-table and! 
turns her round, and places her in such & 
position that she can be taken out in the 
morning without any more trouble. The 
fire is then taken out of her, and she is 
handed over to the cleaners. If she is ira 
need of any repairs, they have to be reported 



THE STRAND MAGAZINE. 



i to the shed foreman, who sees that they are 
.attended to. When everything has been 
<done, we have again to go to the office and 
ireport ourselves, and sign the book. We 
generally give a look at the notice-board, too, 
•.to see if there is anything posted concerning 
our 'link' or the line we work on." 

" And about your premiums for saving 
fuel : are you allowed a premium ? " 

" Yes ; we are allowed so much coal per 
mile. My quantity is 3olb. Some have 
361b., others 381b. The majority of the 
goods trains are allowed from 451b. to 5olb. 
per mile. They require more than the pas- 
senger trains, because they have so much 
shunting — especially the coal trains. If a 
man takes an interest in his work it leads him 
to be economical ; it also shows the company 
what men are interested in their work. All 
the coal is weighed out to the engine. At the 
end of each month a sheet is issued, showing, 
amongst other details, the actual working of 
each engine during the month, and if any 
driver has been able to do the whole of his 
work with a less consumption of coal than 
the standard allowance, he is paid a premium 
of 2s. for each pound of coal used per mile less 
than the standard, the fireman being allowed 
8d. per pound. For instance, engines work- 
ing the heaviest express passenger trains 
between Rugby, Crewe, and London are 
allowed 381b. per mile ; and if a driver can do 
his work for the whole month with a con- 
sumption of 361b. per mile, he gets a bonus 
of 4s., and his fireman is. 4d. That pays 
:the company and also the driver. In the last 
•sheet issued I got 16s." 

" When do you consider your work to be 
tihe most dangerous ? " 

" In times of fog and snow, of course. 
II do not mean when the snow is on the 
; ground ; that is simple enough. It is when 
ithe snow is falling that it bothers us, espe- 
-cially with a head-wind. It is then driven 
.against the engine and covers the glass of 
vt;he look-out, so that we can't see. Then 
.driving becomes very difficult." 

" Have you special rules to guide you in 
such cases ? " 

" The rules are the same as when fog 
(prevails." 

" And what are they ? " 

" Well, when the fog is so thick that we 
•cannot see the signals we have to feel our 
way with the help of the fog- signalmen. 
The signals are working as usual, of course, 
but we can't see them. The fog-signalman, 
therefore, is employed to help us. He is 
stationed within call of the signal-box, and 



acts under the direction of the signalman. 
If I am coming from London and want to 
get into the station, I go on until my engine 
explodes a detonator. Then I know that I 
must shut off steam and bring my train under 
complete control, and wait for a signal from 
the fog-signalman. He has a shelter en the 
road near the signal-box, and generally has a 
fire blazing near (to give light as well as to 
keep him warm), and if he gives me the red, 
or danger, hand-signal, I must at once bring 
my engine to a stand, and then proceed 
cautiously to the point the hand-signal is 
intended to protect, or until I get the 
signal to proceed. If I am stopped by a 
detonator* and am kept waiting very long, I 
let them know of my presence by blowing 
my whistle from time to time. We are able 
to talk with our whistles, and so can let the 
station-master or the signalmen know where 
we are and where we want to go." 

" You need all your caution at such 
times ? " 

" Yes, we do ; but the only danger is when 
signals fail, or the wrong ones are given. 
When the ' block ' is perfect there is no 
danger." 

" I suppose it requires good nerves to be a 
driver of an express ? " 

" Yes ; many men have not nerve enough 
for it. They refuse, saying they would 
prefer to remain at Pickford's work — that is 
their expression for the goods. But when a 
man feels equal to it, it is the lightest work, 
and he can keep at it until very old." 

" Have you any very old drivers at work 
now ? " 

" I think I am one of the oldest in the 
express work. But up to very recently we 
had a driver at work who was sixty-seven 
years of age. He had to go to a somewhat 
lighter job than express driving towards the 
end, however." 

In conclusion, Walker said that he and the 
next man interviewed constituted No. 3 link, 
known generally amongst engine-men and 
others on the line as the "Top Hat Link." 

The next man interviewed, James Penning- 
ton, was a perfect picture of health, rosy- 
cheeked, bright-eyed, and evidently still full 
of "go." He said he started as stoker on a 
colliery line at the age of nineteen, remaining 
in that employ eight or nine years. He then 
went on to a stationary engine for winding 
coals from the shaft. "After that," he con- 

* A detonator, or fog-signal, is constructed in the form of a 
circular disc about 2in. in diameter ; it is made of a mixture of 
iron and tin, is filled with gunpowder, and charged with three 
percussion caps. It is provided with strips of tin on either 
side, with which it is fastened on to the upper flange of a rail. 



ENGINE DRIVERS AND THEIR WORK. 



1 73 




JAMES PENNINGTON. 
From a Photo, by Speight, Rugby. 



tinued, " I was engaged as a fireman on the 
London and North-Western at Wolverton, 
and remained at that work, off and on, for 
about five years. I was then driving for four 
years, chiefly on a goods and coal pilot 
engine. I then went on the goods and 
express goods to Leeds and Liverpool. After 
a few years at that I got to passenger work. 
I am now on express work, No. 3 link, 
from Rugby to London, and Crewe and 
Manchester." 

" How long have you been connected with 
the London and North-Western Railway ? " 

" Thirty-three years." 

" Have you ever been in an acsident ? " 

" I have been in four accidents ; but I 
have never been in an accident where there 
were any lives lost." 

" Do you like the work ? " 

" Yes ; I could not stop at home ; I would 
sooner have any trip." 

" Have you found that the exposure in- 
jures your health ? " 

" I don't think I look as if it did. I am 
nearly sixty-three years of age, and I should 
like to have another ten years' service, if the 
company will allow me. John Middleton 
knocked off at seventy-five. He was put to 
driving a pilot engine a few years before that, 
and seemed rather aggrieved that he had 
been taken off the better work. I feel as 
well as ever I did, and I can run a train 
better than I did twenty years ago." 



In reply to another question, Pennington 
said : — 

" Railway work does not injure a man if 
he has a good constitution. Driving affects a 
man if he is at all nervous. A good deal 
depends on himself. Mr. Webb, the super- 
intendent of the Locomotive Department, has 
named three engines Pluck, Patience, and 
Perseverance, and those are the qualities 
that an engine-man wants." 

In reply to a question as to the hours of 
his work, Pennington said : — 

" We average about sixty hours a week, or 
the mileage equivalent to that. When we 
work on Sundays, we are paid at the rate of 
time and a half, so that for a full day we 
should get 12s. instead of 8s." 

Jem Brown, driver of the Scotch express, 
known as the " Corridor Train " (stationed 
with the three following at Camden), com- 
menced as a cleaner in 1858, became & 
fireman in T859, and a driver in 1864. In 
1875 he was promoted from a goods engine 
to driving passenger trains, at which work 
he has been ever since. Asked as to his 
experience as a driver, he said : — 

" I have had two accidents. They were 
both to goods trains. I had a collision at 




JEM BROWN. 

From a Photo, by G. W. Roberts, Kentish Town, A'. W. 



i7' 



THE STRAND MAGAZINE. 



Coventry, when I had my engine knocked 
clean over, and blocked both lines for half a 
day. A ballast train was turned out of a 
siding without a signal, and I ran into it. 
That was before the block system was intro- 
duced. My engine was damaged a good 
deal, and some of the trucks also." 

" Were you not hurt yourself?" 

" No. When my engine was turning over 
I gave a spring, so as to get as far away as 
possible. You have to keep your wits about 
you when on an engine, and you some- 
times get some rough riding." 

" What was your other accident ? " 

" That was on the i ith of December, 1875, 
when I ran into a coal 
train at Leamington. 
The block system was 
then introduced, but 
was not thoroughly 
carried out. It was a 
very thick fog. They 
gave me ' clear ' at 
Polesworth, and the 
train was only just 
within the signals at 
Armington, near Tarn- 
worth. Under the 
present system of 
blocking that could not 
have happened. 1 
should be stopped at 
Polesworth and cau- 
tioned : ' Section clear, 
but station blocked ! ' 
Then you may go on, 
but be prepared to 
stop at the next — 
which would be the 
home signal, and not 
go past it." 

"How did you come 
off this time ? " 

" The engine was knocked to pieces, also 
a lot of coal trucks. Both the lines were 
blocked." 

" Were you hurt ? " 

" Not much. I jumped again 
engine was going over. I hurt 
a bit, and my nose was marked 
all." 

" How long have you been running the 
Scotch express ? " 

"For the last three years, although it is only 
since July last year that it was converted into 
what is called the Corridor Dining Train. It 
leaves London at 2 p.m., and reaches Crewe at 
5. 20. It is taken by another driver from there, 
and I come back with another express at 7.32, 



arriving at 10.45. I and another man take 
this train alternately. I run to Crewe and 



day. 



run 
My mate 



runs the 




JOHN BUTTON. 

From a Photo, by H. J. Taylor, Kentish Town Road, N. W. 



back every other 
alternate day. 

" Then you only work three days a 
week ? " 

" That is all. The actual running time to 
Crewe and back is 6 hours 40 minutes, that 
constitutes two days' work — reckoned, of 
course, by mileage." 

" Do you find the work trying ? " 
" Not in the least ; we get used to it. I 
have had thirty-five years of it, and I am not 
much the worse." 

John Button (in the same " link " as the 
above) began his 
career in 1862, and was 
promoted to passen- 
ger driving in 1880. 
Asked if he had ever 
been in an accident, he 
said : — 

" I have been very 
fortunate. I have never 
had an accident of any 
kind — have not even 
so much as broken a 
buffer plank " {i.e., the 
beam in front of the 
engine which carries 
the buffers). 

" You are now work- 
ing the Corridor Train 
with Brown ? " 

" Yes ; I worked 
the train yesterday ; 
Brown works it to-day." 
In further conver- 
sation, Button said he 
enjoyed perfect health. 
He thought there was 
nothing in driving to 
injure the constitution, 
not nerve enough to 
He did not 



when the 
my finger 
— that was 



Some men had 
take charge of a big engine, 
find the great speed of travelling affected 
the nerves, " but," said he, " it makes you 
anxious. For my part," he added, " I prefer 
to go at a topping speed. I have read in 
books that the higher the speed the more the 
nerves are affected ; but I don't find it so. 
You feel a sensation of positive pleasure in 
going along at a rattling speed. Of course, 
we are well protected from the weather by 
our cabs ; formerly it was not so, and 
in bad weather the men were often soak- 
ing wet. But all that has been changed 
since Mr. Webb introduced the cab. That 
was about 1873. The engine Brown and I 



ENGINE DRIVERS AND THEIR WORK, 



'75 



run is the ' Jeanie Deans.' She was built by 
Mr. Webb for the Edinburgh Exhibition, 
and is a 7ft. compound engine, of the latest 
type. She runs every day to Crewe and 
back." 

" I suppose you can tell pretty well the 
speed you are going at ? " 

" Yes ; we soon learn to judge by the 
movement, the oscillation, how the engine is 
going. You feel the speed. The other day 
I looked at my watch at Crewe, and did not 
look at it again till I got to Euston. I found 
I was one minute to the good." 

Joseph Edwards, in the service of the 
London and North-Western Railway Com- 
pany since 1863, and seventeen years a 
passenger driver, said 
he was one of the men 
chosen a year or two 
ago to run the 10 a.m. 
train from Euston to 
Edinburgh. It was 




known as the " racing train," and was run 
against the East Coast train for Scotland, 
" I ran it," he said, " from here to Crewe, 
158 miles, without a stop. We were timed 
to arrive at Crewe at 1 p.m. I was always 
before time ; sometimes ten minutes before. 
I could have done the distance in much less 
time than that if Mr. Mumford would have 
allowed me. The engine we worked with 
was the ' Marmion,' 7ft. 6in. driving-wheel. 
She is a splendid engine, and very suitable 
for the work. We could work her at the 
same uniform rate up hill and down. We 
ran the ' racer ' for a month, and never 
had a hitch. I was chosen for the work 
because I was accustomed to that class 
of engine." In reply 
to a question, Edwards 
said that during these 
trials of speed the 
"Marmion" never had 
a hot axle, 



JOSEPH EDWARDS. 

From a Photo, by G. W. Roberts, Kentish Town, N. W. 



(To be continued,) 



Illustrated Interviews. 



No. XXXV.— SIR DONALD CURRIE, K.C.M.G., M.P. 




MONGST the men who have 
played no small part in the 
development of our national 
history, Sir Donald Currie 
certainly claims a distinguished 
place. 

I first met Sir Donald Currie on 
board his last built steamer, the Tan- 
tallon Castle, on the occasion of her 
trial trip to the Cape, on which vessel, 
with a party of friends, we steamed 
as far as Southampton Water. In ap- 
pearance the great steamship owner is 
decidedly benevolent; he possesses a face 
which inspires immediate confidence ; his 
hair is perfectly white, and his eyes are 
continually looking you through and 
through. He is a per- 
fect Scotchman, care- 
ful, cool, and calm 
in everything he 
says or does ; and 
though he apparently 
thinks and works very 
rapidly, he never sug- 
gests hurry. One has 
but little difficulty in 
"discovering " the 
man. Earnestness, 
perfect and complete 
earnestness, is the 
great characteristic 
which has governed 
and directed his life 
from the very first 
moment when, as a lad 
of fourteen, he perched 
himself on an office 
stool and made his 
start in business with 
the smallest and most 
trifling work allotted to 
him. 

" I did every- 
thing I was bid," 
Sir Donald said 
to me — an assur- 
ance that meant 
much. 

Sir Donald is 
a man to be 
"watched." He 
took the chair 




From a Photo, by Le Jeune, Paris. 



at an impromptu concert on board the 
Tantallon Castle, and enthusiasm marked 
every word he uttered, although it was only 
to announce a banjo solo by a young lady 
travelling to the Cape for her health, or a 
duet by a wealthy American couple who were 
revelling in the luxury of a trip round the 
world. 

We chatted together in the smoking-room, 
and he spoke of the severer things that 
govern life : the South African questions in 
which he has been called upon to take a 
part ; the past, present, and future of that 
vast and rich territory, and still with 
the same earnest enthusiasm without which 
it seemed to me he could never open 
his mouth to speak. And here lies the 
secret of his success 
in the great steam- 
shipping world. He 
has laid down a law 
for himself : that what- 
ever he touched, or 
said, or thought, should 
be carried out 
thoroughly. 

Our smoking - room 
chat was particularly 
happy. It is very well 
known that amongst 
what might be termed 
Sir Donald's hobbies is 
that of taking in hand, 
and very successfully 
too, the restoration to 
health of sick cele- 
brities. He is a firm 
believer in the restora- 
tive qualities of a sea 
voyage. Hence it comes 
about that many emi- 
nent men have for a 
time placed them- 
selves under his 
care, and par- 
taken of his 
hospitality on 
board his magni- 
ficent floating 
palaces. Amongst 
those I specially 
asked and we 
talked about, 



ILL USTRA TED INTER VIE 1VS. 



177 




From, a] 



TANTALLON CASTLE. 



as our temporary home lay quietly anchored 
in Southampton Water, were Gladstone and 
Tennyson. 

" You know," said Sir Donald, " that both 
Mr. Gladstone and Lord Tennyson have 
been out with me in the Pembroke Castle 
and the Grantully Castle. Gladstone gener- 
ally spent his day in reading or conversing 
with Tennyson, and every moment of his 
time was occupied, with never an instant 
wasted. On the Grantully Castle, after the ill- 
ness which laid him aside from Parliamentary 
work, his favourite book was ' David 
Copperfield ' ; whilst frequently he 
would take up some great Greek 
work and read passages to me, making 
most admirable comments on them 
as he went along. It was most 
charming to see Gladstone and 
Tennyson together. When Tennyson 
would sit and read one of his poems 
to the great statesman, discussing 
here and there the various lines, and 
Gladstone questioning the poet as to 
how he came to use this and that 
form of phraseology, nothing could 
be more instructive. 

" Sometimes they would talk about 
Homer and the old Greek poets, 
and I remember when we went for 
our Norway cruise in the Pettibroke 
Castle, these two great men had the 
most interesting discussion on 

* Vol. viii. — 24. 



Shakespeare 
that I ever heard. 
Although Tenny- 
son was not a very 
early riser, yet 
immediately after 
breakfast he 
always used to 
return to his 
cabin to study 
and write, for he 
assured me that 
he considered 
this was the best, 
part of the day 
for work. I should 
like to tell you 
that when Tenny- 
son talked it was 
just like one of 
his own poems. 
When he was. 
viewing scenery 
— a moonlight 
night, or a sun- 
set, or a little bit 
of impressive landscape — he would sit and 
look at it silently for a moment, as though 
drinking it in and filling his soul, only the next 
moment to tell it all to those whose privilege it 
was to sit near him. Of course, I need not tell 
you that Tennyson was a great smoker. When, 
he came out with me he brought quite a stock, 
of pipes, and he very seldom gave any away.. 
I think I am one of the very few who possess, 
one of his famous clays, which he gave me 
on the day of the Royal visit. I keep it. 
at Garth Castle, near Aberfeldy, where for 



[Photograph. 




THE SMOKING-ROOM — TANTALLON CASTLE." 

From a Photo, by the London Stereoscopic Company 



i 7 8 



THE STRAND MAGAZINE. 




JFrom a Photo, by the] 



THE DINING-ROOM — TANTALLON CASTLE. 



many years past I have spent the main por- 
tion of the summer and autumn months. 

" Let me tell you how I came to get pos- 
session of it. We were at Copenhagen. After 
luncheon the ladies of the Royal party were 
very anxious to hear the great Poet Laureate 
read some of his 
poetry. He had re- 
tired to his room 
and was smoking, 
but I went after him 
.and persuaded him 
to give up his pipe 
for a time ; he did 
■so, and instead of 
throwing his pipe 
•out of the cabin win- 
dow, as he often did, 
he gave it to me as 
a keepsake. When 
I told Gladstone 
this he said, ' Keep 
it, it will be pre- 
vious some day.' 

" It was on the 
well-known trip to 
Dartmouth and 
Plymouth, in 1877, 
that I took Mr. 
Gladstone for the 
first time, which 
occasion was made 



more than interest- 
ing by the fact that 
it was on the way 
back, at Exeter, that 
Gladstone declared 
for the assimilation 
of the Burgh and 
County Franchise. 
It was in 1880 that 
the great statesman 
was my companion 
for a fortnight's 
cruise round Scot- 
land in the Gran- 
tully Castle, and 
1883 broughtabout 
the trip of Tenny- 
son and Gladstone 
in the Pembroke 
Castle round Scot- 
land to Kirkwall, 
Norway, and Co- 
penhagen. On the 
occasion of the 
visit of the Pem- 
broke Castle to 
Copenhagen — the 
largest steamer ever in that port — a dinner 
at the palace was succeeded by the famous 
banquet on board the Pembroke Castle, the 
guests being the King and Queen of Den- 
mark and their family, the Emperor and 
Empress of Russia and their family, the 



[London Stereoscopic Co. 




From a Photo, by the] 



THE LADIES ROOM — TANTALLON CASTLE 



[London Stereoscopic- Co. 



ILL US TEA TED INTER VIE WS. 



179 




MR. GLADSTONES CABIN — GRANTULLY CASTLE. 

From a Photo, by the London Stereoscopic Company. 



King and Queen of Greece and their 
family, the Princess of Wales and Royal 
Family of England, and the Royal Family of 
Hanover — in all twenty-nine Royal persons, 
with diplomatists, Ambassadors, and admirals, 
numbering sixteen — forty -five in all. 

" The speeches of the Royal guests and of 
Mr. Gladstone on that interesting occasion, 
with the records of the proceed- 
ings of that peaceful visit to 
Copenhagen, where a merchant 
ship of England was saluted by 
the manning of the yards of the 
warships of the different nation- 
alities off the harbour, and the 
bands playing 'God Save the 
Queen,' were in singular con- 
trast with the less friendly visit 
which Nelson paid to Denmark 
in the time of the great war. 
As Lord Tennyson said to Mr. 
Gladstone: ' This is the first time 
that a merchant ship of Great 
Britain has been so saluted since 
the time of Drake.' " 

It was some time after the 
successful launching of the beau- 
tiful Tantallon Castle, and we 
had heard that she had arrived 
safely after a very delightful 
passage to Madeira, that an 
opportunity was afforded me of From a] 



again meeting Sir 
Donald, and learn- 
ing something of 
the story of his 
life. This was at 
his town residence, 
Hyde Park Place. 
The interior of 4, 
Hyde Park Place, 
at once reveals the 
artistic side of Sir 
Donald Currie's 
nature. It is prob- 
able that no man 
in London has more 
beautiful specimens 
of Turner than he; 
and what is more, 
Sir Donald not 
only possesses the 
pictures, but he 
understands the 
strong points of 
the man who 
painted them. Sir 
Donald talked 
about Turner and 
his works for fully a couple of hours before I 
could get him to sit down and tell me 
something about himself. He took very 
little notice of the clever canvas of Blarney 
Castle, which hangs in the hall, but he just 
paused to inform me merrily that he has 
refrained from calling one of his vessels, 
which form the Castle Line of steamers, 




PEMBROKE CASTLE LEAVING DOCK. 



I Photograph. 



i8o 



THE STRAND MAGAZINE. 




From a Photo, by] 



THE DINING-ROOM — HYDE PARK PLACE. 



Blarney Castle, because he considers that 
would be a little too much ! 

In the dining-room will be found Wilkie's 
" Sir Walter Scott," painted whilst on a visit 
to Abbotsford, and an original sketch by the 
same artist of "A Village Wedding." Millais, 
Sir Joshua Reynolds, David Cox, J. F. Lewis, 
are all represented ; whilst the two most 
recent additions to the room in the way of 
pictures are Sir Donald himself and Lady 
Currie, painted by Ouless. There are several 
Turners here, the 
best trio probably 
being " The Lake 
of Geneva," a 
glorious bit of 
colouring ; " The 
South Foreland," 
which hangs over 
the mantelpiece; 
and that marvellous 
work depicting 
N elso n's body 
brought over from 
Trafalgar in the old 
Victory — a curious 
picture in its way, 
for the canvas con- 
tains no fewer than 
a trio of Victorys, in 
order to show the 
ship in three posi- 
tions. 

Sir Donald's 

Study is next tO From a Photo, by] 



the dining - room, 
and here we have 
more Turners, and 
a very fine bust of 
Gladstone. It is, 
however, in the 
drawing - room, 
which overlooks 
Hyde Park, that 
Turner, so to speak, 
is revealed in all 
his glory. " Abbots- 
ford/ "Mount 
Moriah," "Dun- 
fermline Abbey," 
" Venice," " Lu- 
cerne," "TheAlps," 
" The Dawn of 
Christianity," and 
many of the pic- 
tures which went 
to illustrate the 
famous Bible series 
of Turner ; and, 
indeed, notwithstanding the fact that the walls 
of this apartment are covered with pictures, 
only three of them are other than Turner's. 

We looked for a moment at Sir Donald's 
volume of autographs, a number of which 
are reproduced in these pages, and a portrait 
group of the members of many of the Royal 
families gathered together at Copenhagen at 
the time of Sir Donald's trip there — a portrait, 
by-the-bye, presented to him by the Queen 
of Hanover. But yet the steamship prince 



[Elliott <£ F, 




THE STUDY — HYDE PARK PLACE. 



[Elliott tt Fry. 



ILL USTRA TED INTER VIE WS. 




?rom a Photo, by] 



THE DRAWING-ROOM — HYDE PARK PLACE. 



{Elliott du Fry. 



will not be taken away from his Turners ; he 
brings forward a large cardboard box and 
opens it. It contains a score of beautiful little 
water-colour drawings ; Sir Donald lifts one 
of them up quite reverentially and places it 
in my hands. 

" Do you recognise it ? " he said. 

I did not for the moment. His eyes twinkled, 
and he seemed almost proud to tell me. 

"These, sir, are the twenty original draw- 
ings by Turner which went to illustrate 
Campbell's 'Pleasures of Hope' and his 
poems. Look at them ! See ! " — as he takes 
them up one by one. " There is the one for 
' Lord Ullin's Daughter ' ; this is ' O'Connor's 
Child ' ; and that ' Gertrude of Wyoming ' ; 
and surely you know this, 'The Soldiers 
Dream ' ; and this, ' Lochiel's Warning,' and 
'The Battle of the Baltic.'" 

We looked at that score of precious 
pictures for a long time, and their possessor 
discussed their almost countless beauties till 
we reached his study downstairs, where I 
desired to talk with a man who has done 
much for his fellows. I am inclined to think 
that at the outset Sir Donald showed some 
reticence in speaking about himself; but I 
pointed out to him that a man must tell the 
truth about his own life, however much he 
may have done and achieved. 

"Very well, then," said Sir Donald, "I will 
tell you. I was born in 1825. My first school 
was in Belfast. They were very lively days 
in Ireland in those times, when the great 
party feuds were on, and the differences of 



opinion between 
the parties were 
much stronger then 
than now. Why, I 
have seen cavalry 
charge up and down 
the streets on the 
occasion of an elec- 
tion! James Bryce's 
father was my 
teacher. Yes, I was 
always fond of 
ships ; revelled in 
reading sea stories, 
and I am inclined 
to think that I had 
one of the biggest 
collections of small 
boats of any of the 
boys in the school. 
I left school when 
I was fourteen, and 
went into the 
steam - shipping 
office cf a relative in my native town, 
Greenock. When about eighteen years of age 
I was transferred to Liverpool and joined the 
Cunard Company's service. At that time 
there were no steamers trading to America 
except those of the Cunard Company, and 
there were only three of those — the Caledonia, 
the Arcadia, and the Britannia. The ill- 
fated President, and the British-built steamer, 
Great Western, were for a time engaged in 
the Atlantic business, but no regular line 
existed either from the Continent or Great 
Britain, except that known as the Cunard 
Line, then intrusted with the carrying of the 
mails to Halifax and Boston ; so that at the 
time referred to I \yas charged with the duty 
of making arrangements for all the cargo 
passing from Europe to America. 

" What a change since that time ! In 1849 
the Navigation Laws of this country were 
abolished, and the United States reciprocated 
this policy. Up to that time no goods from 
the Continent or foreign ports could be car- 
ried into the States by British vessels, and no 
foreign produce could be imported into 
England by American ships. The trade 
between France and the Continent and the 
United States of America was very extensive 
and important — mind, I am speaking now of 
forty-five years ago — and I was dispatched 
to Havre and Paris to establish branch 
houses to take advantage of this new opening 
to British shipping. Within three days of 
my leaving England for France, a steamer 
was sent from Liverpool to Havre, and there 



THE STRAND MAGAZINE. 





THE PRINCE OF WALES S SIGNATURE. 

was thus established a through service 
between France and America via Liverpool, 
which still exists, and which has been most 
successful. However, shortly after the 
Havre trade had been secured I went to 
Bremen and to Antwerp, and at both ports 
established similar branch offices and steamer 
services for the Cunard Company." 

Here is what Mr. W. S. Gilbert would 
call a " highly 
respectable 
start." Sir 
Donald Currie 
is the first man 
to admit that he 
owes much to 
those early 
struggling days. 
He worked 
persistently, 
honestly, and 
with purpose 
not to be turned 
aside, and it was 
not long before 
he found him- 
self in a very 
important posi- 
t i o n . The 
young man's 
capabilities, 
pluck, and tact 
had become a 
matter of com- 
mon conversa- 
tion, and from 
1856 to 1862 
Sir Donald 
Currie was 
attached to the 
head-quarters of 
the Cunard 
Company in the 
management at 
Liverpool, his 
brother con- 
ducting the 
business at 
Havre ; but in 
the latter year 
he withdrew 
from the 
onerous labour 



connected with the Cunard 
Company's largely extended 
operations in the Atlantic 
and in the Mediterranean, 
and started for himself — the 
Castle sailing ship service 
between Liverpool, London, and the East 
Indies, which supplied him in due time with 
the nucleus of the efficient officers now 
employed in his fleet of steamers. 

It is very interesting to note how Sir 
Donald, after leaving steamers for sailing 
vessels, finally took once more to steamers 
and discarded sailing ships. It was not 
his wish to go back to the exciting life 



/f : S&* s%*. » 




^-g/i ^ 




SIGNATURES OF ROYAL PERSONAGES FROM SIR D. CURRIE S AUTOGRAPH BOOK. 



ILLUSTRATED INTERVIEWS. 



183 




/^7 




'^iZ&tr&Pi 








SIGNATURES FROM SIR D. CURRIE's AUTOGRAPH BOOK. 

Frederick, Crown Prince of Denmark ; Louise, Crown Princess of Denmark, Princess 
of Sweden and Norway ; Alexander (Emperor of Russia) ; Marie (Empress of Russia) ; 
Georgios (King of Greece) ; Olga (Queen of Greece) ; Nicholas (the Czarevitch) ; George 
and Xenia (the younger children of the Czar) ; Carl, of Denmark ; Alexandra. 



involved in steamship management ; his 
capital was engaged in sailing ships in 
preference. He had said that he was for all 
time going out of the steam business, but the 
fates would have it otherwise. This is how 



he came to be 
connected with 
the South African 
trade, in which he 
now holds such a 
high position. But 
it was not only in 
steamship enter- 
prise to and from 
the Cape and 
Natal that he was 
to be engaged, for in a 
very short time, owing 
to the singular political 
circumstances of that 
period, his capacity and 
readiness to serve South 
African interests became 
manifest. 

"In 1875," said Sir 
Donald, " complications 
arose in South Africa 
in connection with 
the occupation of the 
Diamond Field District, 
known as Kimberley, by 
the British Government, 
and in connection with 
that, as well as with the 
Transvaal, President 
Burgers, of the late Re- 
public, known as the 
South African Republic, 
visited England. Lord 
Derby and Lord Car- 
narvon, acting for the 
Government of the day, 
intrusted to me the com- 
munication to be placed 
in the hands of President 
Burgers on his arrival 
at Plymouth ; and the 
President accompanied 
me to my house, where he 
stayed for some two or 
three months, the corre- 
spondence of the Presi- 
dent with the Government 
of the day being carried 
on with my assistance. 

"It is worthy of note 
that at that especial 
time it was known that 
proposals had been made 
to Prince Bismarck for the proclamation 
of a Protectorate by Germany over the 
Transvaal ; and this was not a matter over- 
looked in conversation between President 
Burgers and myself. On the settlement of 



1 84 



THE STRAND MAGAZINE 









<^y( 



SIGNATURES OF CELEBRITIES FROM SIR D. CURRIE S AUTOGRAPH BOOK 



the treaty with Portugal which President 
Burgers completed, I did what I could, and 
secured for the Transvaal the transfer from 
Mr. G. P. Moodie, of Gold Fields fame, of the 
concession of the Delagoa Bay Railway, 
which had been granted to that gentleman 
by the Portuguese Government." 

It is a fact worthy of interest that in that 
agreement Sir Donald was made arbitrator 
in case of dispute, and eventually gave a 
judgment in favour of Mr. Moodie subse- 
quent to the annexation of the Transvaal by 
the British Government. 

" Of the early history of gold mining,'' 
continued Sir Donald, " in the Transvaal, 
a singular illustration is the fact of the 
President having brought to this country 
and placed in my hands a nugget 
found at Pilgrims' Rest in that territory, 
of the value of about ^600 sterling, 
and this nugget, by-the-bye, I exhibited 
at the first meeting of the Royal Co- 



lonial Institute at the 
South Kensington 
Museum, when Presi- 
dent Burgers was 
present and received 
the welcome of his 
friends, people won- 
dering if it could be 
true that there was 
gold in the Trans- 
vaal. 

"The Swazi ques- 
tion was at that 
moment being dis- 
cussed with the 
British Government, 
as well as the dif- 
ference between the 
Orange Free State 
and the Imperial Go- 
vernment as to the 
Diamond Fields, the 
latter being claimed 
by the Orange Free 
State Republic as 
within their territory. 
Immediately after the 
return of President 
Burgers to the Trans- 
vaal, President 
Brand, of the Orange 
Free State, visited 
England, at the re- 
quest of Lord Car- 
narvon, the Secretary 
of State for the 
Colonies, in the 
hope of arriving at a settlement of the 
Diamond Fields' dispute ; and it was only 
after a long discussion with President 
Brand, spread over two or three months, 
that Lord Carnarvon made a final arrange- 
ment with him. Lord Carnarvon and 
President Brand, after agreeing upon the 
principles of settlement, left it to me 
to define the boundary and arrange the 
terms of agreement, and to draw up the 
agreement which is now in the Colonial 
Office, signed by Lord Carnarvon and 
President Brand." 

For these services, acknowledged by Lord 
Carnarvon in the despatches published in the 
Blue Books of the time, the Queen made 
Sir Donald a K.C.M.G., and the Orange 
Free State Parliament voted him their unani- 
mous acknowledgments. 

"In 1876," Sir Donald said, "the mail 
contract with the Cape having come to an 
end, a new one was granted to the two mail 



ILL US TRA TED INTER VIE J VS. 



185 



companies now carrying on the service — 
the Union Steamship Company and our 
Castle Line. In 1877, the year following, 
political matters in South Africa became very 
embarrassing, the Transvaal Boers resenting 
the authority of the British Crown ; and 
Messrs. Paul Kruger, Jorissen, and Bok were 
sent to Lord Carnarvon as a deputation 
to claim their independence. Owing to the 
friendly feeling shown both to the Trans- 
vaal and the Orange Free State previously, 
their delegates informed the British Govern- 
ment that they desired my assistance, and 



of the Transvaal, and with a view to some 
settlement which might prevent disturbance 
in that territory. I pointed out to the 
Government that an absolute and uncon- 
ditional refusal of the memorial of the 
inhabitants of the great South African 
Republic would be followed by scenes of 
disorder, and possibly of bloodshed; and 
further, that the country would be dis- 
organized, as many of the people would 
leave; that there would be difficulty in 
collecting taxes, and settlers and intending 
emigrants might be alarmed ; commercial 




From a Photo, by] 



A ROYAL GROUP. 



[George Hansen, Kjobenhavn. 



I introduced the deputation, at their wish, 
to the British Government. They were not 
successful in obtaining what they desired, 
and subsequently, in July, 1878, a second 
and final deputation was sent from the 
Transvaal, appointed by the united voice of 
the burghers there. Messrs. Kruger, Joubert, 
and Bok were delegates, and their appeals 
were addressed to Sir Michael Hicks-Beach, 
the Secretary of State for the Colonies. The 
delegates named again came to me, and on 
the 19th of July, 1878, made a final appeal 
to the Conservative Government of the day 
in the interests of the peace and prosperity 

*Vol. viii. — 25. 



relations would be disestablished, and all 
progress injured for many a day to come in 
the Transvaal. In that communication I 
added that the Boers were so persuaded cf 
the injustice of the course which had been 
pursued, that they had so strong a disposition 
to freedom and liberty of movement, and 
were so religiously mindful of facts in their 
past history, that they would sacrifice their 
property and risk their lives, as they had done 
before, for their convictions and what they 
deemed their just rights." 

From what Sir Donald told me, one can 
only characterize his suggestion as being a 



i86 



THE STRAND MAGAZINE. 




From the Picture by] 



THE DUNOTTAR CASTLE. 



! W. L. Wyllie, A.R.A. 



very practical one for the solution of the 
difficulties that beset the Government. It 
was to the effect that the people should elect 
their own representatives, with other arrange- 
ments fitted to secure friendly co-operation 
between the different states and colonies in 
South Africa. Sir Donald urged that it 
would be easy to stir up angry feeling in the 
recollection of the Boers, of what they con- 
sidered injurious treatment at the hands of 
persons who held official positions ; but 
that, instead of antipathy and dislike, we 
might by good and kindly feeling secure 
their strong attachment, and in time clear 
away the prejudices that prevailed among 
them owing to our dealings with regard to 
the Diamond Fields and our past history in 
respect to the Transvaal and the Orange Free 
State. 

One strong point Sir Donald put forward 
to the Government was this, namely, that 
the Boers had a strong conviction of the 
value of a decision by a majority, and that 
they distinctly offered to recognise any 
arrangement, even of annexation to Eng- 
land, if a majority of qualified voters could 
be found in the Transvaal willing to declare 
for the maintenance of the present condi- 
tion of things. 

" But you see," said Sir Donald, "that the 
Government of the day took a very different 
course, and, on the 17th of August, 1878, 
upon the motion of Mr. Courtenay for the 
restoration of the independence of the 
Transvaal, Sir Michael Hicks-Beach, on 
behalf of the Ministry, made such an answer 



in the hearing of the delegates in Parliament 
as justified them in their opinion in returning 
to the Transvaal, telegraphing to me in 
Scotland, where it was intended that they 
should follow me, to say farewell. They 
visited Holland and Germany to obtain 
sympathy and assistance. 

"In the autumn of the same year, 1878, 
new troubles arose in South Africa ; war was 
declared against Cetewayo on the 4th of 
January, 1879, ar, d on tne ITt ^ °f January 
British troops crossed into Zulu territory. 
On the 24th of January the British force was 
destroyed at Isandlana, of which incident, by- 
the-bye, I am sorry to say I had to communi- 
cate the intelligence to the Government. 
The episode of Rorke's Drift followed. In 
the rapid course of events of that day the 
British detachment of Sir Evelyn Wood 
had a hard struggle at Kambula, while 
Colonel Pearson's third division was shut up 
in Ekowe and surrounded by Dabulamanzi, 
the brother of Cetewayo, with 10,000 or 
15,000 Zulus lying in wait for any sortie they 
might risk. This is how Cetewayo carried 
out his word to Sir Bartle Frere : ' If your 
soldiers attack me, I will tear them to pieces 
like a tiger.' 

"On the day that the news arrived of 
the disaster at Isandlana, preparations were 
immediately made by the Home Government 
to provide within forty-eight hours two 
steamers to carry troops to Natal ; and 
with the cordial approval of the Minister of 
War, I sent a telegram to our company's 
steamer, then passing that day the Island of 



ILL USTRA TED INTER VIE WS. 



187 




ICELAND — SIR D. CURRIES FIRST BOAT. 



[Photograph. 



Madeira, to stop on her way to the Cape 
at Cape Verd for my instructions. The 
Government had thus the three inter- 
vening days in which to decide on what 
course to follow, and the result was the 
transmission of telegraphic instructions by 
way of Cape Verd, which reached South 
Africa in fifteen days, instead of being 
delayed until the dispatch of the next 
steamer from England a week later. The 
minutes were precious, for the telegram 
referred to reached Sir Bartle Frere on the 
Tugela just in time to enable him to stop the 
sallying out of the troops from Ekowe, which 
had been ordered to sally out, and which 
were marshalled ready to start for the Tugela 
at the moment the heliograph signalled them 
to delay. 

" Let me tell you how the garrison of 
Ekowe were saved. I know the facts, for a 
young naval officer, the second in command 
of the Naval Brigade attached to General 
Pearson's troops shut in Ekowe, wrote the 
following in his diary : — 

" ' At a given date,' he said, ' when shut 
up, we saw a signal by heliograph from the 
Tugela, twenty miles off. It said : " Sally out 
on such and such a day. Dabulamanzi is 
between you and us with 10,000 Zulus." 
Then it became dark, and there was no signal 
for about three weeks; but on the day we 
were to sally out we were marshalled with 
provisions to carry for twenty miles march 
and the Zulus in sight. Then the sun shone 
out, and the heliograph signalled : " Stop 
sallying out — troops are coming," and it 
went dark again.' 

" That was the message that had gone out, 
and if it had not been taken out by the 



vessel calling at 
Cape Verd, the 
1 2, coo men or 
thereabouts armed 
and ready to start 
would have had to 
fight their way 
through the Zulus, 
with awful destruc- 
tion of life, whilst 
the fever - stricken 
and wounded left 
at Ekowe would 
have been at the 
mercy of the 
Zulus, and another 
Isandlana disaster 
would have 
happened." 

It is due to 
Sir Donald Currie to record the fact 
that in a speech delivered in Perthshire, 
which Sir Donald represents in Parliament, 
Captain Campbell, of the Royal Navy, 
who was in command of the Naval Brigade 
at Ekowe, told the public meeting that their 
member had saved his life and that of his 
men ; and the Duke of Coburg in command 
of the fleet at the opening of the docks at 
Leith, at a banquet, informed the guests that 
that was why Her Majesty made Sir Donald 
Currie a K.C.M.G. 

The Dublin Castk of Sir Donald Currie's 
line was dispatched from England within 
forty-eight hours, and the soldiers on board 
marched from Natal to Ekowe, after a severe 
struggle with Dabulamanzi, and in this way 
the garrison was relieved. 

It should be pointed out that several years 
before, in 1875, Sir Donald urged upon the 
Government of this country the necessity 
for an alternative telegraph between England 
and the East Indies, via the Cape, but it 
was only after the disaster at Isandlana that 
the Government put down that cable. 

Outside of the Cape Colony, Natal, the 
Transvaal, and Orange Free State, but in 
intimate association with their interests, the 
part which Sir Donald has had to play has 
been a singularly interesting and useful one, 
both on the South-West and South-East 
Coasts of South Africa. If the Government 
of the day had listened to the representations 
which he, with a deputation of South African 
merchants, made to Mr. Gladstone's Govern- 
ment for the annexation to the Cape Colony 
of Damaraland and Namaqualand, that 
territory so friendly to England would have 
been under the British Crown to-day. On 



i88 



THE STRAND MAGAZINE. 



the south-eastern side of Africa, at the 
moment when Germany was pressing its 
colonial policy in a direction of serious 
concern for both Natal and the Transvaal, it 
was at the urgent representation of Sir 
Donald Currie that Mr. Gladstone, six 
months after the South-West African failure 
of policy, yielded to his representations, and 
dispatched, upon the information which he 
gave, a telegram to the Cape authorizing the 
hoisting of the British flag at St. Lucia Bay 
in Zululand, which was accomplished by the 
gunboat Goshawk. If this had not been 
carried out, the German flag would have been 
floating there within a few days afterwards, 
and both Pondoland and Natal, as well as 
what is now British territory in Matabeleland, 
would have had a different history. 



had much scope for encouragement. There 
is a great future for agriculturists in South 
Africa, and when the gold adventure has 
calmed down somewhat, as in Australia and 
California, we may hope for great and good 
things. In the high lands there are ample scope 
and inducement provided for those who have 
a little capital. One disadvantage against 
securing success at the present moment is 
the presence of the native element, which 
hinders individual effort on the part of the 
emigrating agriculturist. The land is so 
fruitful that the white population only care 
to develop it just for their own wants. 

" Many young men write to me and 
ask me shall they go to South Africa. 
I have invariably refrained from advising 
them to do so unless they have sufficient 




From a Photo, by 1 



THE " IOLAUTHE." 



[Carl Hanitz. 



The reader will observe that this inter- 
view has treated somewhat seriously of Sir 
Donald Currie's work in connection with 
South African affairs, which are very much 
to the front at the moment of writing. 

For the last twenty years Sir Donald may 
be said to have been immersed in the history 
of South Africa, and it is singular that no 
other merchant or shipowner has especially 
interested himself in that country. Sir 
Donald is well known as a lecturer on 
maritime matters, and has received the gold 
medal of the Society of Arts. 

There was one question of considerable 
moment which I put to Sir Donald Currie 
before leaving him, and that was : " What 
chance has the emigrant in South Africa ? " 

He replied : " The miner — that is, the gold 
or copper miner — has had great inducements 
there, but agricultural talent has not hitherto 



means to keep themselves going until 
they find an opportunity of utilizing their 
abilities. It is no good for anyone to think 
of going to South Africa unless he has 
some backbone and some money to 
keep him going till he sees a chance of 
success. They go out, expecting to find 
occupation when they have had none 
here ; many have no business capacity, and 
such young fellows generally join the Cape 
Police or the Mounted Rifles, and then settle 
down. Still, whilst making this state- 
ment, let me add that I believe that the 
Cape Colony and Natal, the Orange Free State 
and the Transvaal — not to speak of Mashona- 
land — will yet offer more and more oppor- 
tunities to young men of sound judgment and 
good business habits than they can find in 
this country, or indeed in many of our other 
colonies." Harry How. 



Ostrich Farming in South Africa. 

By Charles W. Carey. 




From a] 



THE WILLOWS OSTRICH FARM, MIDDELBURG, CAPE COLONY. 



\riiotograph. 




ERHAPS no other English 
Colony is exciting so much 
interest at the present time as 
South Africa. For months 
past the pages of newspapers 
and periodicals have been 
filled with news from the north, where our 
admirable band of volunteers have succeeded 
in repulsing the redoubtable Lobengula, 
King of the Matabele race. 

Let me give you some sort of an idea of the 
surrounding country in which we are situated. 
It is a country unlike any other on the globe. 
The general character is flat and sandy, 
relieved only by long, low, rocky sierras. 
These mountain ranges are the salvation of 
the landscape. Their craggy outlines are 
carved into a thousand abrupt and striking 
forms, their heads are constantly haunted by 
low-lying clouds of vapour, which the con- 
tending sun and wind draw together and 
disperse. Their sides are hollowed into 
ravines, or " kloofs," and painted by the 
clear distance into a perfect argosy oi 
changing hues. The apparently parched and 
sandy flats are covered by different varieties 
of dwarf bush, which are nibbled by the 
sheep. 

A dry and arid prospect, and it is hard to 
conceive every inch of it is loaded below 
with vegetable life ready to shoot after the 
first rains of spring into a wealth of verdant 
grasses. Here and there dotted about on 
these flats can be seen the white farm- 
buildings nestling among the trees — an oasis 



in the desert, in fact. These green spots can 
be seen for miles and miles away, with the 
whitewashed buildings glittering in the sun. 
Foliage is only to be seen around the home- 
steads and occasionally at an isolated 
fountain. The veldt all round is cheerless 
and naked, without so much as a rag of 
vegetation to cover it, and the eye hungers 
for a tree ; the bones or stones stick 
painfully out, a sight for the geologist, not 
the artist. 

You arrive at the homestead, a square, red- 
brick building, with a sigh of relief, and glad 
to be out of the blinding glare and sandy 
plain. On every homestead the same familiar 
sights meet the eye. On the one side of the 
house stand the kraals; on the other, the shed 
and waggon-house. In front stands the dam, 
adjoining the vegetable-garden and lands, 
with farther away the camp. Behind the 
house are the chaff-house, tramp-floor, and 
butcher's shop, where the niggers are rationed. 
In the camp run the large stock, cattle, 
ostriches, and horses ; and on the flats and 
mountains the sheep and goats. In this 
article I shall confine my remarks to ostriches. 

To our friends at home, the ostrich is the 
centre of interest in South African farming, 
and it is the ostrich alone that excites every- 
one's curiosity and makes them take an 
interest in the life. So let me here give you 
some idea of the birds, with their ways 
and manner of conducting themselves when 
domesticated. 

A well-fenced and secure inclosure is a 



190 



THE STRAND MAGAZINE. 



luxury in the Colony, and is only to be met 
with on the wealthier farms, the owners of 
which can afford to keep them in repair, and 
to place in them stock of the more expensive 
kinds. Every ostrich farmer has his camp, 
which varies in size considerably, from 3,000 
to 8,000 acres, and in it he keeps his 300 or 
500 birds, as well as a few cattle and horses. 
A camp is always selected as being the 
best piece of grazing ground on the farm, 
and capable of holding more stock in pro- 
portion than any other part of the farm. 
Here the birds remain year in and year out, 
and are only collected and brought together, 
on the average, once every four months. 



out inflicting pain on the bird, and at the 
same time leaving enough to keep out the 
cold. 

An ostrich, like most other animals, in its 
wild state is terribly afraid of man or of any 
unfamiliar sight, and flees at the appearance 
of anything new to its ken. When domesti- 
cated it becomes docile, and after a time 
assumes a position of authority and becomes 
master of the situation. From June up to 
September, or, in fact, till Christmas, thou- 
sands of chicks are reared every year, and 
thousands meet with death every year from 
some form of accident. Chicks up to twelve 
months old die from various maladies, but 




From a] 



A TROOP OF OSTRICHES. 



[Photograph. 



These occasions are, let us say, in June, 
to pluck the prime feathers. By these we 
mean the long whites, numbering from 
eighteen to twenty in each wing, eight or 
nine fancy feathers, and a few long blacks, 
all taken at the same time. Four months 
later the stumps of these feathers are drawn 
out, and two months later again — that is, six 
months after the primes — the short blacks 
and tail feathers are taken. Of these it is 
impossible to give any accurate number. As 
a rule, you pluck as many as possible with- 



seldom after they are full grown are they the 
victims of any sickness, death usually resulting 
from a broken leg, killed fighting, or from 
scarcity of food in times of drought. 

The nest of an ostrich is a very crude 
affair, consisting simply of a round hollow 
carved out in the sandy ground. Sometimes 
the female bird may be seen scratching in 
the ground preparatory to laying her first 
egg ; but this is not often the case, the 
hollow generally being made by the con- 
tinuous sitting of the birds on the one 



OSTRICH FARMING IN SOUTH AFRICA. 



191 




OSTRICH ON NEST, 



spot. One pair of birds will lay from ten 
to twenty eggs; but, as is often the case, three 
or four birds will lay in the one nest, thus 
making the number of eggs up to seventy or 
eighty. These, of course, have to be weeded 
out, as a bird cannot comfortably cover more 
than sixteen eggs, the remainder being 
thrown on one side and left to decay. 

Forty-four days is the recognised time to 
allow for hatching. When a nest is hatched 
out the family are taken out of the camp, 
and brought to the homestead to be tamed, 
where they come in continual contact with 
the farm hands, and are housed at night out 
of the reach of wild animals. During the 
summer months they will do well, but in 
winter, when food becomes scarcer, must be 
fed morning and evening on barley or rape. 

It is during the breeding season that the 
male becomes so savage, and his note of 
defiance — " brooming," as the Dutch call it — 
is heard night and day. The bird inflates 
his neck in a cobra-like fashion and gives 
utterance to three deep roars. The first two 
are short, but the third very prolonged. Lion- 
hunters all agree in asserting that the roar of 
the king of beasts and the most foolish of 
birds resemble one another almost exactly. 
When the birds are properly savage they 
become a great source of amusement — or, 
as some think, of danger. Certainly, to be 
overtaken all on a sudden without time for 
preparation by a cheeky bird is one of the 
greatest ills flesh is heir to, and might result 
disastrously to the uninitiated ; but old hands 
are always all there on an emergency. 

Undoubtedly the best weapon — barring a 



wire - fence — is a good 
stout stick or blunt pitch- 
fork. As a rule, if a bird 
means to have your life 
or die in the attempt, he 
charges from about thirty 
yards, when you receive 
him at the bayonet's point. 
He rushes at you with 
flashing eye, looking the 
very embodiment of fury. 
Drawing himself up to a 
height of ten feet or more, 
with wings outstretched 
and hissing like a cobra, 
he makes four or five 
strikes. You retreat a pace 
or two, so as to avoid the 
fork piercing through his 
neck, and hold him off at 
arm's length till he learns 
that his efforts are useless. 
Drawing the fork sharply away, you strike 
him a blow on the neck, rendering him 
insensible and taking away his breath. This 
quiets him for a while, till he recovers from 
his bewilderment and makes a fresh charge, 
when the fork is again presented. 

I have seen a bird so savage as to charge 
seven times in fifteen minutes, twice receiving 
the prongs of the fork through his neck. On 
horseback one is even more obnoxious to an 
ostrich than on foot, but, so long as the horse 
is not afraid and will stand up to the bird, there 
is no fear of an accident. As he charges take 
care to have your horse well in hand, and as 
the bird makes his first strike, catch him by 
the neck and hold on for all you're worth, till 
the bird becomes exhausted from want of 
breath and falls. 

The female bird is seldom vicious. When 
she has a nest or brood of young chicks one 
must be prepared, but her manner of charg- 
ing and whole demeanour is a very mild 
affair compared to the male's. 

Perhaps it may suggest itself to some of 
my readers : what would result supposing 
three or four birds tackled you at once? It 
is a very rare occurrence for more than one 
bird to charge at a time. Should three or four 
male birds all imagine at one particular 
moment that you are the meat of each one of 
them separately, they first of all tackle one 
another, the conqueror fighting you. 

Collecting birds for plucking is always a 
great day on the farm. Orders are given 
overnight to the Kaffirs and Hottentots to 
catch every available riding-horse and have 
them saddled-up and ready next morning at 



192 



THE STRAND MAGAZINE. 



sunrise. This is done, and every " boy " on 
the farm who can find a horse is mounted, 
and a regular cavalcade enters the camp, 
under the superintendence of " De Boss van 
de Plaats "—the master of the farm. They 
split up into parties of two each, and start off 
in different directions to drive up the birds 
from the remote spots to which they have 
wandered. Warfare, of course, is freely 
indulged in. It is immaterial to an ostrich 
if there be one or fifty against him, he fights 
just as merrily. 

There exists a traveller's tale at home that, 
as soon as an 
ostrich catches 
sight of a human 
being, he turns tail 
and bolts in an 
opposite direc- 
tion to hide his 
head in the sand. 
Another fallacy, 
equally devoid of 
foundation, is the 
belief that the 
female leaves her 
eggs in the sand 
to be hatched out 
in the sun. This 
is not so. The 
male and female 
sit alternately for 
forty - four days : 
the male at night, 
the female during 
the daytime. As an 




article of food an ostrich egg is, to my taste, 
the most nauseous of dishes, and far more 
suitable as an effective weapon in Chinese and 
political warfare than to grace a breakfast table. 
From all one had heard previous to 
becoming oneself an owner of ostriches, the 
actual plucking of the birds is very un- 
interesting and disappointing. The birds 
are all huddled together in a kraal — when 
every bird becomes as meek as a lamb — and 
are caught one by one ; a bag or stocking is 
placed over the head and neck, while two ex- 
perienced niggers clip the feathers. During 
winter the birds 
must be attended 
to and carefully 
watched, as some- 
times the weather 
is very inclement 
for weeks together 
— the thermome- 
ter often register- 
ing ten degrees of 
frost — and birds 
are apt to fall off 
in condition. If a 
bird once begins 
to sink in condi- 
tion, the greatest 
difficulty is experi- 
enced in getting 
him right again, 
and often no 
amount of extra 
feeding will pull 
him through. 



PROCESS OF CLIPPING, WITH BAG ON HEAD OF OSTRICH, 

WING UPLIFTED, AND OWNER IN THE ACT OF CLIPPING THE 

<: PRIMARY ROW." 

From a Photo by H. E. Fripp, Beaufort West, Cape of Good Hope. 



Portraits of Celebrities at Different Times of their Lives. 



culars we refer our readers to an 
" Illustrated Interview " with Sir 
Donald, appearing in this number. 





From a} 

DONALD CURRIE, 
K.C.M.G., M.P. 
Born 1825. 

tfR DONALD CUR- 
RIE, K.C.M.G., M.R, 

is the son of the late Mr. 
James Currie. He is 
at the head of Donald 
Currie & Co., owners of the Castle 
Line of steamships between Lon- 
don and South Africa. Sir Donald 
takes an active interest in all ques- 
tions connected with South Africa, 
and he has rendered great services 
to the country and the Govern- 
ment. For his services in settle- 
ment of the Diamond Fields dis- 
pute and the Orange Free State 
boundary he was made a C.M.G. 
in 1877, and in 1881 a K.C.M.G. 
for further assistance during the 
Zulu War. For further parti - 

Vol. viii.— 26. 



PRESENT DAY. 
From a Painting by W. W. Ouless, R.A. 



i 9 4 



THE STRAND MAGAZINE. 




Chamber since 1871, M. Carnot occupied 
successively the position of Under Secre- 
tary and Minister of Public Works ; and in 
the Cabinets of M. de Freycinet and M, 
Brisson he held the portfolio of Finance. 
As Minister of Finance, M. Carnot dis- 



From a Photo, by} 

THE LATE 



PRESIDENT 
Born 1837. 



IP. Boyer. 

CARNOT. 




AGE 35 



[Photograph. 




arie Fran- 
cois Sadi 
Carnot, 
late Presi- 
den t of 
the French Republic, 
who, on the 24th of 
June, fell a victim to 
the murderous hand 
of a fanatic, was born 
at Limoges. He was 
a grandson of General 
Carnot, known in his- 
tory as the "Organizer 
of Victory." M. ^Car- 
not entered the Ecole 
Polytechnique at the 
age of twenty, our 
first portrait showing 
young Carnot in his 
uniform of Polytech- 
nicien. He first 
entered Parliament 
as member for Cote 
d'Or, which he repre- 
sented continuously 
in the National 
Assembly and in the 




From a Photo, by] 



Pierre Petit, Paris. 



played remarkable 
foresight and courage 
in disclosing to Parlia- 
ment the difficulties 
of the financial posi- 
tion of the country, 
and in suggesting 
means of overcoming 
them. Physically the 
late President was a 
thin man, of regular 
features, slightly 
severe and hard in 
expression. It was 
on the resignation 
of M. Gr£vy, on 
December 2nd, 
1887, that M. Carnot 
was elected Presi- 
dent of the Republic. 
In expressing our 
heartfelt sympathies 
to the French nation 
for her great loss, 
we are sure we echo 
the feelings of all 
readers of The 
Strand Magazine. 



PORTRAITS OF CELEBRITIES. 



195 




called to the Bar at 
Lincoln's Inn in 
1 86 1 , where he soon 
rose to eminence as 
an equity lawyer. 
He obtained a silk 
gown in 1875, 
For a few months 
in 1886 he was 
Solicitor-General 
under Mr. Glad- 
stone, being raised 
to the Bench as a 
Lord Justice of 
Appeal in Septem- 
ber, 1893. 



AGE 22. 

From a Photograph. 



PRESENT DAY. 

From a Photo, by Russell <& Sons, Baker Street, W. 



196 



THE STRAND MAGAZINE. 




AGE 12. 

From a Photo, by W. H. Fawn, Peckham. 



ROBERT ABEL. 

Born 1859. 

jjOBERT ABEL, popularly known 
as the " Guv'nor," made his first 
appearance in the Surrey Eleven 
at the Oval against Notts in 1881, 
but it was not until 1883 that he 
repaid the county for the confidence placed 
in him. In 1886, while playing for Surrey 
against Australia, he scored 144 runs, remain- 
ing at the wicket nearly seven hours. In 
1891 he made 197, his highest score in first- 
class cricket. As a bowler he is often in- 






AGE 27. 

From a Photo, by the Kimberley Photographic Studio. 

valuable, but is, perhaps, seen at his best 
at short slip. His 168 (not out) against 
Gentlemen of England this year proves that 
he still maintains his position as one of the 
best all-round men in England. 




From a Photo, by W. H. Fawn, Peckham. 



PRESENT DAY. 

From a Photo, by W. S. Proe, Peckham. 







^fE)R4EXY 



©b¥ 



9r 

MBbRSBB 





'M very sorry for you, Leigh ! " 
" Thanks. You've said that 
before, though." 

" Well, you need not be 
so disagreeable ; I really am 
sorry for you, and would help 
you if I could." 

The speaker was an elderly man, with an 
intellectual face and a head of tangled grey 
hair, who stood by a couch on which lay a 
young man with his head bandaged and his 
arm in a sling. 

" You had better try and put it all out of 
your mind for a month," he went on, com- 
passionately. " You can't work, so what's 
the good of worrying ? " 

"The fact that I can't work is the reason 
why I worry," said Leigh. " If I had only 
finished my book before this accident hap- 
pened, I shouldn't care. But publishers are 
like time and tide, they wait for no man, as 
you might know, one would think ! " 

" I thought the doctor did not want you 
to use your head at all," said the elder man. 

" Oh ! he doesn't mind now. I'm all 
right again, really ; only he says he must 
keep my eyes bandaged for another fortnight, 
'just as a precautionary measure.' Pre- 
cautionary humbug, I call it ! " 

" Well, then, employ an amanuensis," said 

Vol. viii. — 27. 



Morris Holt, taking no notice of the last 
remark. 

" So I would, if I could find one worth 
having ; but how can I find one while I'm 
stuck here on this sofa ? And somehow, when 
a fellow is ill, people seem such a bother." 

" I have a young cousin whom I think 
might do," said Holt. " I never thought of it 
till this minute : I always forget everything ! 
A London B.A Worked in the British 
Museum. All that sort of thing. Too poor 
to ask high terms ; very accurate and a really 
good scholar." 

" Well, that praise means something from 
you," said Leigh, rather grudgingly. " We 
might have an interview to-morrow afternoon, 
anyway, if you'll arrange it for me." 

"All right ; I must be off now. I only 
meant to stay two minutes, but I had no 
idea you had been so ill." 

He shook the uninjured hand, and made 
his way towards the door, tripping against a 
stool as he peered short-sightedly for the 
handle. 

A shout from Leigh made him pause just 
as he was closing the door. " Stop a minute ! 
What name did you say ? " 

" Holt. Sydney Holt ! " he said, opening 
the door an inch or two and shutting it again. 

" Poor chap ! " he muttered, as he made 



THE STRAND MAGAZINE. 



his way down the steep stone staircase of the 
flat. " But it's just the thing for Sydney. 
I'll go round there now." 

Morris Holt was one of the most oblivious 
and absent-minded men in the world, but he 
had a fund of kindness within him when he 
remembered to use it, and on this cold, wet 
November evening he went nearly a mile out 
of his way that he might convey the news of 
employment to his young relative at once. 

It was a dingy street into which he turned, 
and the house at which he stopped was one 
of the dingiest of the row. An untidy 
servant-girl admitted him, and stood aside to 
let him go up to the first floor. 

Mr. Holt stumbled up the dark staircase 
and knocked at the first door he came to. 

" Come in ! " cried a voice from inside, 
and he turned the handle and entered. The 
room was like hundreds of others in cheap 
London lodging-houses. The furniture was 
worn and shabby, the ceiling discoloured, 
and the window-panes dirty ; but there were 
a few touches here and there which showed 
that the occupant was a person of refine- 
ment. 

A girl, whose curly hair was cut short over 
her Jiead, and whose pale face showed the 
marks of over-work, threw down her pen and 
rose to greet him with a smile. 

"Why, cousin Morris !" she said, "I have 
not seen you for weeks ! " 

" No, my dear," said Mr. Holt, sitting 
down in the chair she pushed forward for 
him, " I have been out of town. I was at the 
Museum yesterday and to-day, but I did not 
see you, Sydney. Where have you been ? " 

" At home," said Sydney, rather mournfully. 
" Or, rather, I tired myself out yesterday 
going to three different schools in want of 
teachers ; but they were all filled up before I 
got there ! " 

" I am sorry I have not been able to help 
you more," said Mr. Holt, with a little 
remorse in his tone. " But it is next door to 
impossible ; everything is so crowded. How- 
ever, I am forgetting what I came to tell you, 
and I must make haste, because I am going 
out of town again to-morrow, and I am very 
busy. A friend of mine who is writing a 
book has had an accident, and can't use his 
eyes for a time. He is worrying himself to 
death about it, and wants to get someone to 
help him. It must be someone up in the 
classics, because there are a lot of Greek 
quotations; so I suggested you, and he would 
like you to go round to-morrow afternoon. 
There's the address." He threw a card on 
the table as he spoke and got up to go. 



" But shall I be able to do what he wants ? " 
said Sydney, doubtfully. 

" Oh ! yes ; I told him all about you, you 
know, and he thought you would do." 

There were many other things that Sydney 
wanted to ask, but her cousin was in a hurry 
to be off, and she could not detain him. She 
stood for a long time with the card in her 
hand after he had gone, as though it could 
tell her all the things that he had left unsaid. 
" Oliver Leigh, 

6, Lincoln Gardens." 

That was all. She had never heard the 
name before, and it conveyed nothing to her 
mind. But she had no doubt about going, 
for her funds were so low that it seemed 
to her sometimes as though starvation was 
not far off. Her hopes had been very high 
when she got her degree and started on a 
career in London, but as she learnt more and 
more of the over-stocked condition of the 
teaching world, they had sunk lower and 
lower. Her cousin had no influence there, 
but he had procured her a few pieces of 
literary hack-work from time to time, which 
just kept her head above water. 

She set out about three o'clock the next 
afternoon and made her way to Lincoln 
Gardens. It was as dull and damp a day as 
the previous one had been, and she debated 
within herself whether she should not do her 
dress more than eighteenpence worth of 
damage by walking ; however, she had only 
five shillings in hand to last to the end of the 
week, so she picked her way as well as she 
could through the mud. 

Lincoln Gardens was reached at last, and 
having pressed the electric bell at the door, 
a dirty little boy in buttons admitted her. 

" Mr. Leigh ? " he said, in answer to her 
inquiry. " Yes, 'e's in. Third floor ! " and 
so saying, he disappeared down a passage, 
leaving Sydney to make her way up. 

The door at the head of the third staircase 
stood open, and her timid knock was 
answered by a voice, in obedience to which 
she entered. The room formed a strong 
contrast to her own. A bright fire burned 
on the hearth, throwing its leaping lights and 
shadows over the picture-covered walls and 
the soft hues of carpet and curtains. But 
Sydney's eyes were not attracted by the 
room ; they were fixed in mute surprise upon 
its owner. She had expected to see an 
elderly, grey-headed man, like her cousin ; 
but the hair that appeared over the bandages 
was thick and dark, and the figure in the 
arm-chair was that of a man in the prime of 
youth. She was so taken aback that she 



SYDNEY HOLT, B.A. 



199 




'A DIRTY LITTLE BOY IN BUTTONS ADMITTED HER. 



hesitated on the threshold, uncertain what to 
do ; but in the meantime he could not see 
her and she was obliged to speak. 

" My cousin, Mr. Morris Holt, asked me 
to call on you to-day, about some work," 
she said. 

" Oh ! yes; come in," said Leigh. " Excuse 
my getting up, I'm rather lame. Holt was 
here yesterday, and said he thought you 
could do what I want; but I should think 
you're very young, by your voice ! " 

Sydney thought that his manners were 
decidedly peculiar, but she knew that she 
must not mind such things as these. " Yes, 
I am young, " she said, " but I have taken 
the B.A. degree at the London University, 
and I have had some experience in literary 
work, too." 

" Oh ! well, I daresay you'll do all right," 
said Leigh. " I'll try you, anyhow. My 
doctor says I mustn't do more than three 
hours' work a day at present. He's a chum 
of mine, who comes in every morning to 
bandage me up for the day and all that kind 
of thing; so we had better work from two 



till five, if that will suit 
you." 

"Very well indeed," said 
Sydney. 

"All right, then. We 
ought to finish the work in 
a fortnight ; I hope you can 
write a clear hand. Oh ! 
and about terms : will two 
guineas a week do for you ? " 
" Certainly," said Sydney, 
who had not dared to expect 
so much. 

" We may as well begin at 
once, then. You'll find the 
papers on the writing-table. 
Tell me when you are ready, 
and I'll fire away." 

Sydney arranged the 
papers and began to write. 
The book was one dealing 
with certain aspects of Greek 
drama, and the quotations 
made the work difficult; but 
the subject was one which 
thoroughly interested her, 
and the time sped rapidly 
away. 

Five o'clock chimed out 

at last from the little clock 

on the mantelpiece, and 

Leigh gave a satisfied sigh. 

"I suppose we must stop," 

he said, " or I shall get into 

a row with my doctor. However, we've got 

on capitally, so I won't complain. Be sure 

you come punctually to-morrow." 

" I will be certain to be here," said 
Sydney, opening the door as she spoke. . 

" All right, and if you see your cousin, you 
can tell him I think you'll do very well 
You really have a very decent amount of 
scholarship, though I should think you're 
not much more than a boy ! " 

Sydney gave a startled little gasp as he 
uttered the last words, and escaped before 
he could add anything more. So this was 
the meaning of his cursory remarks and his 
off-hand ways ! Morris had evidently only 
spoken of her as his "cousin," without 
mentioning her name ; or, even if he had 
mentioned it, it would have told nothing 
unless he added an explanation. Why had 
she not been called Ada or Caroline, instead 
of Sydney? 

All through her homeward walk she was 
debating what she could do. Should she ask 
her cousin to explain ? But he was gone out 
of town, and she did not even know his 



THE STRAND MAGAZINE. 



address. Should she explain the mistake 
herself? But the idea was too formidable ! 
After all, it was only an hour or two in the 
day for a fortnight ; it would soon be over. 

She hardly noticed the discomforts of her 
room that evening ; her mind was too much 
occupied with the events of the day, and 
instead of worrying over her money troubles 
when she went to bed, she fell asleep wonder- 
ing what the morrow would bring. 

Leigh was waiting for her when she arrived 
the next afternoon. " Here you are ! " he 
said, cheerfully. " The doctor says I'm none 
the worse for the work yesterday, so that's all 
right. We shall soon finish, at this rate." 

Sydney soon became as interested in the 
book as the author himself. It showed a 
depth of research and a broad way of dealing 
with facts that gave her a very high opinion 
of his mind. She admired him also for his 
patience under the trials that had befallen 
him, and day by day she found herself look- 
ing forward more eagerly to their hours of 
work. 

Leigh, on his part, felt a growing admira- 
tion for his secretary. 

" You never bother me, somehow," he said, 
one day. " Some fellows are so clumsy, 
knocking things over, and making all sorts of 
mistakes. But you are uncommonly quiet, I 
must say, and yet you are sharp enough, too ! 
That suggestion you made yesterday was 
really very good ; I thought about it a great 
deal in the night." 

" I am glad you think I can do the work," 
said Sydney. 

"You do it remarkably 
well!" said Leigh. "You 
really ought to turn out 
something or other one of 
these days. I don't know 
why I always imagine you 
are so young ; I suppose it's 
your voice." 

" Can I do anything more 
for you before I go?" said 
Sydney, passing over the 
difficult question. 

" Yes. I wish you would 
just give me a rug. I get so cold sitting 
here, and the doctor won't let me try my 
ankle yet. I wish that horse hadn't managed 
to stancj on so many places at once when 
it knocked me over." 

Sydney felt a rush of sympathy go through 
her, but she dared not express it. She put 
the rug softly over him and went back to the 
writing-table. 

" I think I shall come out a poet at last," 



said Leigh, in a dreamy tone. " I don't 
know why, but I seemed to think of stars and 
music and the ' sweet south ' on a bank of 
violets, all in a breath just now." 

" Good afternoon," said Sydney, opening 
the door and taking a sudden departure. 

" I shall have to tell him," she said to 
herself, desperately, as she hastened down the 
stone staircase. "And yet — there are only 
three days more ! " 

" I say, young man," began Leigh in a 
playful tone when his secretary arrived on 
the next afternoon, " you ought not to leave 
your love-tokens about on other people's 
tables ! The doctor told me I might take a 
walk round my room this morning ; the 
housekeeper was to have helped me, but she 
never appeared, so I had to clutch on to the 
things as best I could, and as I caught hold 
of the writing-table I found this ! " 

He held up a ribbon as he spoke, which 
Sydney recognised directly as one that she 
had missed when she reached home. 

"Well, are you not going to ask for it 
back ? " said Leigh, finding that he got no 
answer. " I shall just tell your cousin the 
little tale when I see him next ! " 

" Please -give it to me," said Sydney, in a 
low voice. 







-i 



te 



I FOUND THIS 



SYDNEY HOLT, B.A. 



Leigh thought that he had given offence, 
and relinquished the ribbon at once. It 
seemed to him rather foolish to be upset by 
such a trivial thing, but he was too kind- 
hearted not to try and make amends. 

" I shall be quite sorry when our work 
comes to an end ! " he said, pleasantly, when 
five o'clock sounded the hour of Sydney's 
departure. 

" So shall I ! " thought Sydney, but she 
did not say so. 

" In fact," went on Leigh, " I have some- 
thing to propose to you. The doctor says 
the bandage may come off my eyes in a day 
or two, but I am not to use them much at 
first. Will you stay on and help me, if you 
have nothing better to do ? No one has 
ever suited me so admirably as you have 
done, and I do not feel at all inclined to let 
you go." 

Sydney's heartbeat almost to suffocation. 
How could she answer him ? In a day or 
two at furthest he must discover the decep- 
tion that she had practised upon him. 

" You don't seem to like the idea much ! " 
said Leigh, in a disappointed tone. " Perhaps 
you have something else in view ; but I 
gathered from what your cousin told me that 
you have not been getting on very fast. Has 
your father other plans for you ? " 

" I have no father," said Sydney, glad of a 
question that she could reply to. " I have 
been an orphan for some years, and I never 
had any brothers or sisters." 

" Then why will you not agree to my 
proposal ? " said Leigh. " It would probably 
be only a temporary thing, and I would not 
stand in the way 
of your taking 
anything else that 
turned up." 

"It is not 
that," said Sydney, 
in a low voice. 

" What is it, 
then?" asked 
Leigh, rather 
peremptorily. 

Sydney could 
not reply, her 
heart was too full. 
She felt her eyes 
filling with tears, 
and in the effort 
to choke down 
her feelings a sob 
escaped her lips. 

Leigh gave a 
sudden start and 



half rose from his seat, but sank back 
again as his injured foot gave way under 
him. Sydney watched him anxiously; she 
dared not speak, but in another moment she- 
saw him raise his hand as though to tear the 
bandage from his eyes. 

" No, no," she cried, fear for him over- 
coming every other feeling : " you must not 
do it ; you will ruin your sight for ever." She 
darted forward as she spoke and seized his 
hand. 

Instead of snatching away his hand, Leigh 
took hers between both his own and held it 
firmly. It quivered like a little frightened 
bird in the captor's grasp, but he would not 
let it go. It was small, and soft, and warm, 
and he stroked it lightly with his fingers. 

" This is not a man's hand ! " he said. 

" Oh ! I will tell you the truth ! " cried 
Sydney, despairingly. " My cousin told me 
about your work, and I wanted the money so 
much, and he said that he had told you all 
about me. And then when I came I found 
you did not know, and he was away, and I 
could not make up my mind to tell you, and 
I hoped you would never find it out ! But 
now I will go away, and I shall never come 
back." 

She drew her hand away from him, but as 
he released it, he pulled the bandage from 




' SHE DREW HER HAND AWAY FROM HIM." 



THE STRAND MAGAZINE. 



his eyes before she knew what he was 
doing ! 

The sight that met his eyes he will never 
forget till his dying day. The small, slight 
figure before him was clad in a dress of some 
dark woollen material, that any woman would 
have told him at once was old-fashioned and 
shabby. But Leigh saw nothing of that ; 
he only knew that the curls that lay tossed 
all over the little head glittered like gold in 
the firelight, that the pale cheeks were tinged 
with delicate colour, and that her eyes shone 
like stars through the tears that hung on 
their lashes ! 

But the vision only lasted for a moment. 
Turning passionately from him, she caught 
up her things and flew from the room. 

How Sydney found her way home that 
night she never knew. A tumult of feelings 
surged through her heart, but in the midst 
of it all one resolve was fixed within her— 
nothing should ever take her back ! What 
though her work was unfinished; what though 
she had not as yet received the much-needed 
money ? She would rather starve than ever 
see him again ! 

Leigh, meanwhile, was passing through an 
equal tumult, but his thoughts were much 
pleasanter than Sydney's. His principal fear 
was that she would fulfil her threat of not 
returning, and as the next afternoon came 
and went, dragging out its weary hours in 
dull loneliness, he became gradually con- 
vinced that she had really meant what she 
said. 

"Never mind, I'll go and see her to- 
morrow," he thought. " I can get downstairs 
and into a cab well enough now." 

But when the next day came a sudden 
thought flashed upon him that filled him with 
dismay. He had not the vaguest notion of 
her address ; and more than this, rave and 
storm as he might, there was no chance of 
his finding it out unless her cousin had come 
back to town ! He had been allowed to 
exchange his bandage for a shade, and 
reaching pen and paper he wrote off a hasty 
note with no explanations, merely asking for 
the address by return of post. 

But Morris Holt was still out of town, 
and the note lay unopened amid a pile of 
letters on his writing-table for several days, 
during which Leigh went through an agony 
of suspense. Perhaps his note had been 
lost, and had never reached its destination ; 
perhaps she had guessed what he would do, 
and had forbidden her cousin to send the 
address ! Then a new agony began. She 
had told him herself how much she wanted 



the money; perhaps she was starving, and 
there was no one to help her. He worried 
and distressed himself till the doctor shook 
his head, and ordered him to the South of 
France. 

Leigh took no notice of his advice. Every- 
thing seemed to go by him in a dream, until 
one day a post-card was brought up to him, 
with two lines written upon it, that ran like 
an electric stream through his frame. The 
words were these : — 

" Only just back in town. 24, South 
Street, Chilton Square." 

Sydney was sitting alone that afternoon in 
her cheerless room. She could not afford a 
fire, and the clinging damp made everything 
chilly and uncomfortable. She had at last 
heard of some teaching, but the salary was 
small, and she would not receive anything 
until the end of the term. 

A week ago at this time a very different 
scene had surrounded her, but that thought 
was too painful to be borne as yet ! 

A ring at the bell and a heavy step on the 
stair roused no expectations in Sydney's 
mind ; no one ever came to see her but her 
cousin, and she thought that he was still 
away. But to her surprise the steps paused 
at her door, and the servant-girl threw it 
open without any attempt at announcement, 
and in another moment Oliver Leigh stood 
before her ! 

He was breathless with his ascent and 
leant heavily upon his stick ; but he had left 
off his bandages, and his eyes rested eagerly 
upon her. 

" I should have been here days ago," he 
exclaimed, " but I had no clue to your 
address, and I was obliged to wait until I 
could get it from your cousin. The days 
have seemed like an eternity ! " 

He paused ; but Sydney could find no 
words in which to answer. 

" Are you angry with me for coming ?" he 
asked. " You would not be, if you knew 
how terribly I have missed you." 

" I am not angry," said Sydney, in a 
scarcely audible voice, while she raised her 
eyes for a moment to his. 

Leigh's face brightened. " I cannot part 
from you again ! " he exclaimed. " I have 
come here to-day to ask you to be my wife." 

" But we have known each other such a 
little time," said Sydney, trying to repress the 
joy that trembled through her at his words. 
She knew that she should never love any 
other man as she loved him, but she feared 
that he might be yielding to a sudden impulse 
which he would afterwards repent. 



SYDNEY HOLT, B.A. 



203 



" Do you call it a little while ? " he said. 
" It seems to me that I have known you for 
years. You must remember that a fortnight 
of work together like ours is worth a year of 
ordinary acquaintance. No, I cannot take 
that as an answer. The only thing that will 
send me away is for you to tell me that 
you do not love me. Can you tell me 
that ? " 

There was an entreating accent in his 
voice against which Sydney was not proof. 
" No," she said, softly, and the brief negative 
conveyed a whole world of assent. 

The dreary room, with all its chill dulness, 
disappeared as if by magic, transfigured and 
glorified by a haze of golden light. 

Cold, weariness, poverty, all were forgotten, 
blotted out from Sydney's memory by the 
sudden rush of happiness ; while Leigh felt 
that this was the moment for which he had 
been waiting all his life. 

" You must not forget that you owe me 
two days' work ! " he said at last, looking at 
her with a smile. 

" I don't owe them ! " said Sydney, play- 



fully. " You have never paid me anything 
at all yet ! " 

Leigh's smile faded and he bowed his 
head on hers. " I can't bear to think of 
what you have suffered, my little one ! " he 
said. " But that is all over now. There is 
nothing to wait for ; let us be married at once, 
and we will go abroad together. I believe 
the doctor told me I ought to go to a warm 
climate for a little while, so we will forget all 
these dark days in love and sunshine ! I 
shall never be thankful enough that your 
cousin sent you to me." 

" Do you think we need tell him all the 
story ? " said Sydney, anxiously. 

" No, dear, no ! " said Leigh. " It is too 
sweet a story to be spoilt by telling ; we will 
keep it all to ourselves." 

And thus it came to pass that when Morris 
Holt read the letter that told him of Sydney's 
engagement, he said to himself, with his 
usual abstracted smile : " Ah ! yes, I saw 
Leigh was interested directly I told him 
about her ; Sydney may thank me, after all, 
for having settled her in life ! " 







Some Historic Cradles. 

By Sheila E. Braine. 




CATTERED about here and 
there, in museums, castles, 
palaces, and private houses, 
occasionally putting in a 
modest appearance at a loan 
exhibition, but living for the 
most part in an honourable seclusion, are 
certain quaint old memorials of bygone 
generations, of which, collectively, very little 
notice has hitherto been taken. Nevertheless, 
as being intimately connected with the 
earliest days of persons hereafter to become 
famous, they undoubtedly possess an interest 
of their own ; and although a cradle may be 
a homely object, it is seen alike in castle and 
cottage, nor does there seem any near 
probability of its going out of fashion. 

To the crude masculine eye all babies are 
said to look the same — a sentiment a mother 
invariably treats with the scorn it deserves ; 
but, leaving that vexed point untouched, 
there can be no denying the fact that 
considerable diversity prevails with respect to 
the cribs, cots, and cradles that shield the 
slumbers of the blessed little beings. 

Roughly shaped out of the trunk of a tree, 
or carved with the best skill of a cunning 
workman ; stuffed with moss or lined with 
embroidered pillows ; carried upon the back 
of a barbarian mother, hung from the ceiling 
of a peasant's hut, rocked by a stately nurse 
in a Royal chamber : scarcely one of them 
resembles another. And yet a certain touch 
of Nature renders them all akin. For 
humanity begins with the cradle, even as it 
ends with the grave ; at these two fixed un- 
wavering points we units touch each other, 
while between them lies the brief uncertainty 
of this our little life. 

The cradles of the Greeks and Romans 
were of various shapes ; the infant Hermes 
is represented in one formed like a shoe. 
They were occasionally made of basketwork, 
sometimes with handles ; and could be sus- 
pended by ropes. Infants were rocked and 
sung to sleep by their nurses, and had their 
rattles, even as modern babies. 

The word cradle is Anglo-Saxon ; in .Anglo- 
Norman it was bers, or bersel, from which is 
derived the modern French berfeau. Walter 
de Bibblesworth, writing towards the close 
of the thirteenth century, says : " As soon 
as the child is born it must be swathed ; lay 



it to sleep in its cradle, and you must have a 
nurse to rock it to sleep." 

In the seventh century we find an Arch- 
bishop of Canterbury ordaining that a woman 
who left her baby " lying loosely around " on 
the hearth, so that it got scalded to death 
through the caldron boiling over, was to do 
penance for her negligence. The curious 
part of it was that the husband, who put the 
water into the caldron, was acquitted of all 
blame ; the idea being, we must suppose, 
that he could not be expected to know that 
the rolled-up bundle on the hearth was a 
member of his family. It would seem from 
this that cradles were not in everyday use at 
this date ; and that infants were brought up 
in sweet simplicity on the floor. 

M. Viollet-le-Duc tells us that the simplest 
and most ancient cradles were formed out of 
part of the trunk of a tree hollowed out, 
with holes at the sides through which cords 
were passed to keep the child in. Baskets 
were also used, and later on the cradles 
resembled small beds, fixed upon two curved 
pieces of wood. 

In the fifteenth century a change was 
made, and the cradle, usually shaped like a 
box, swung between two uprights, which 
were fixed. The cradle of Henry V., which 




CRADLE OF HENRY V. 



belongs to the latter part of the fourteenth 
century, is of this kind, and is the earliest 
specimen extant. Some writers call it Edward 
II.'s, but there are no proofs of its having 
belonged to that unlucky Prince. The story 
runs that Henry V., born at Monmouth Castle 
in 1388, being a delicate child, was sent to 
Courtfield, about seven miles distant, to be 






SOME HISTORIC CRADLES. 



205 




XV. CENTURY CRADLE 



nursed, for the benefit of his health. Here 
the cradle of the future warrior King was 
preserved for many years, eventually being 
sold by a steward of the property; who should 
have been prosecuted for it, one would 
imagine ; but apparently went to his grave in 




XV. CENTURY CRADLE 



peace. The cradle passed at different times 
into the possession of various individuals ; 
and is now exhibited to tourists as a relic 
of undoubted historic interest It is 3ft. 
2 in. long, 1 ft. 8in. wide at the head, 
rather less at the foot ; ift. 5 in. deep ; 
the foliage corroborates the date. 

The cradle or crib of Harry of Windsor, 
son of the Monmouth Harry, preserved 



in the Ashmolean Museum, at Oxford, is ol 
ironwork, and of an entirely different 
character. The attendant at the museum, 
questioned upon the subject, informed us 
with candour that for a long time they knew 
not whose it was, nor where it hailed from ; 
and we gathered that it had at length turned 
up " promiscuous-like " in a catalogue of the 
seventeenth century. A former attendant 
took it into his head to give it a coat of 
paint, for what reason we do not undertake to 
say, unless it was to while away a tedious 
hour. It is evident that the cradle formerly 
possessed a head, and there are indications 
of gilding about it. 

The names of many of the Royal nurses 
are to be found in ancient accounts. 
Edward II. gave twenty shillings to Mary of 
Carnarvon for " coming all the way from 
Wales to see him " ; Henry V. settled an 
annuity of twenty pounds upon Joan 
Waryn ; Henry IV. had an Irish nurse, 
Edward IV. a French one. The longed-for 
son and heir of bluff King Hal was nursed by 
Sibilla Penne, the wife of the Court barber- 
surgeon. Mistress Penne did rather well for 
herself, for she obtained the grant of both a 
monastery and a manor. We find that the 





Vol. viii. — 28. 



HENRY VI. S CRADLE. 



JAMES I. S CRADLE 



Princess Mary gave her for a New 
Year's gift five yards of yellow satin 
at 7s. 6d. the yard. My Lord Prince 
had four rockers in addition to his 
nurse ; his food was tasted for fear 
of poison, and no one was permitted 
to approach his cradle without an 
order signed by the King. Small 
scions of Royalty usually had from 
two to five attendants, known as 
" rockers," who were duly sworn 
into office by the Lord Chamber- 
lain. James I. had five, all Scotch, 
namely, Lady Kippenross, Jane 



2o6 



THE STRAND MAGAZINE. 



Oliphant, Jane Crummy, Katherine Murray, 
and Christian Stewart. 

The heavy cradle of carved oak, used for 
the high and mighty Prince who was to unite 
the Thistle and the Rose, is now in the 
possession of the Earl of Mar and Kellie. 
It was to be seen at the Glasgow Exhibition 
of 1888; as was also the carved oak cradle 
of Mary Queen of Scots, distinguished by its 




CRADLE OF MARY QUEEN OF SCOTS. 

Royal crown. Few people, apparently, are 
aware of the existence of this relic of the 
most fascinating woman of her century. It 
was saved from the fire that broke out in 
Linlithgow Palace, January, 1746; and at 
the present time is at Edinburgh, in the 
possession of a gentleman who kindly 
allowed the arnexed sketch of it to be made. 
To the same category belongs the beautiful 



carved cradle of Queen Elizabeth, with which 
every visitor to Hatfield House must be 
familiar. The initials, " A. R.," stand for 
" Anna Regina," the ill-fated Anne Boleyn, 
mother of Elizabeth. These cradles all par- 
take of the characteristics of the period, 
for the furniture of the sixteenth and 
seventeenth centuries — influenced by the 
Flemish refugees who flocked to England 
with their handicrafts — is handsome, massive, 
and more or less capable of defying the 
ruthless touch of old Father Time. The 
beds of those days were like huge tents ; 
surmounted by heavy canopies and shrouded 
with voluminous curtains, warranted to secure 
the night-capped sleeper from every breath 
of air. 

The quaint cradle-tomb in Westminster 
Abbey has a canopy, and was probably 
designed in imitation of the cradles in use at 
the beginning of the seventeenth century ; it 
has the Royal arms in a lozenge upon the back. 
In 1606, when the workmen were engaged in 
erecting Queen Elizabeth's monument, a tiny 
corpse was brought by barge from the palace 
at Greenwich, and buried close to the spot 
where they were working. It was the 
Princess Sophia, fourth daughter of James L, 





QUEEN ELIZABETH S CRADLE. 



CRADLE OF CHARLES NEVILLE, EARL OF 
WESTMORLAND. 



who only lived three days, and whose 
name is rescued from oblivion by the 
curious monument which marks her 
resting-place. 

Next we have a drawing of the oaken 
cradle belonging to the brave but un- 
fortunate Charles Neville, of Brancepeth 
Castle, last Earl of Westmorland. This 
nobleman, being concerned in 1570 in 
an insurrection against Elizabeth, was 



SOME HISTORIC CRADLES. 



207 



attainted, and fled beyond the seas, where he 
died in great poverty. Upon the cradle, in 
circles on a red ground, are the bull's head 
and the lion rampant, the crests of the Neville 
and Mowbray families ; the white rose de- 




Radcliffe, Earl of Derwentwater. This unique 
specimen has been lent to the South Ken- 
sington Museum by R. D. Radcliffe, Esq., 
F.S.A. 

Ancient inventories furnish us with 
occasional glimpses of the stately 
cradles provided for Royal infants, 
who, " born in the purple," were put 
to sleep amid the glories of " yalowe 
clothe of gold," crimson velvet lined 
with green buckram, red and blue 
sarcenet curtains, and so forth. At the 



THE HADDON HALL CRADLE 



notes the attachment of the Nevilles 
to the House of York. 

Speaking of earls' cradles, we have 
here two other specimens, one of which 
is the oaken " berceau " which stands 
in the magnificent State bedroom at 
Haddon Hall, and which is declared 
by tradition and the guide-books to 
have protected the infant slumbers of 
the first Earl of Rutland. 

The second is an exceptionally fine 
cradle of carved oak of the seven- 
teenth century, surmounted by a 
coronet, and bearing the initials 
" E. R.," which stand for Edward 




F THE OLD PRETENDER. 




CRADLE OF THE EARL OF DERWENTWATER. 



same time, a baby of importance usually had 
one cradle for use and another for ornament : 
one for private life, the other for receptions ; 
hence the origin and reason of the numerous 
" berceaux de parade " alluded to in Royal 
accounts. Many of these were veritable works 
of art, painted and decorated by the best 
artists of the time, and great store was 
naturally set by tham. 

Among the jewels claimed from the Crown 
of England as having belonged to Isabel of 
France was "un bersel d'or," and likewise 
" un bersel d'argent bel et gracieux." The 
State cradle of a defunct Dauphin is men- 
tioned as having been placed in " guard and 
garrison " in the jewel chamber at the Louvre, 
carefully wrapped up in four ells of linen. 

When Beatrice of Modena fled with her 
infant son, the Prince of Wales — afterwards 
known as the Old Pretender — to the 
hospitable shores of France, the baby's 
cradle was left behind ; and one was fetched 
for his use from the Trianon, which had, no 
doubt, served for the son of Louis XIV. It 



208 



THE STRAND MAGAZINE. 



was covered with satin, and ornamented with 
gold and silver. 

Costly and sumptuous as they were, cradles 
came to be regarded as suitable offerings to be 
made to Royal ex- 
pectant mothers. 
Marie of Medicis 
received from the 
Grand Duchess of 
Florence a magni- 
ficent one, with the 
polite wish that it 
might soon be 
wanted for a " beau 
Dauphin de 
France " ; a richly 
jewelled and alto- 
gether splendid 
specimen was also 
sent from India by 
Warren Hastings as 
a present to Queen 
Charlotte. 

The City of Paris 
presented those 
used for the Comte 
de Paris and the 
late Prince Im- 
perial ; and also 
one of the three 
prepared for the 
longed-for son and 
heir of the Great Napoleon. It was a mag- 
nificent piece of work, in silver gilt, repre- 
senting a ship, the emblem of the capital, and 
designed by the painter 
Prudhon. The mono- 
gram of the Emperor was 
engraved upon a shield 
at the top, surrounded by 
a wreath of ivy leaves and 
laurels ; a small figure of 
Glory upheld a crown, in 
the midst of which shone 
the star of Napoleon, 



gazed at by a young eagle with half- 
expanded wings placed at the foot. The 
cradle was emblematic of the future glory of 
the unconscious King of Rome, whose birth 





CRADLE OF THE KING OF ROME (AT 
FONTAINEBLEAU). 



CRADLE OF HENRY IV. OF FRANCE (AT PAU). 



excited a tumult of enthusiasm ; whose death 
passed well-nigh unnoticed, The star of the 
young Napoleon had no sooner risen than it 
was doomed to set ; the heir of those bound- 
less hopes inherited nothing, and died 
a pensioner upon Austrian bounty. His 
magnificent cradle, weighing Scwt, was 
presented by him to the Imperial Treasury 
at Vienna. 

Another belonging to him may be seen at 
the castle of Fontainebleau ; a third is in the 
" Napoleon Room " at Madame Tussaud's. 
These superb cradles were on a par with 
the magnificent and costly beds of the 
ancien regime, the His de parade, upon which, 
gracefully reclining and elaborately arrayed, 
ladies were in the habit of receiving visitors, 
and even the whole Court. 

It was etiquette to make a profound 
reverence on passing the couch of a King 
or Queen ; possibly the cradle of an heir- 
apparent was saluted in the same way. It 
was not all joy to be born in the purple ; 
there were too many State regulations for a 
Royal baby's life to be a happy one. At 
certain hours he was to be fed, at certain 
hours he had to be rocked, no matter whether 



SOME HISTORIC CRADLES. 



209 




CRADLE OF A PILGRIM FATHER (DR. SAMUEL FULLER). 

he were asleep or no ; he might yell himself 
hoarse, but no one might venture to take 
him up but the proper person. It was, as 
the chronicler, Barbier, feelingly remarked, 
" une vraie misere." 

We must not omit to notice the great tor- 
toiseshell, exhibited at Pau as the veritable 
cradle of Henri Quatre, in which his grand 
father, old King Henri d'Albret, bore him to 
the font, after rubbing his lips with garlic to 
make him hardy. This historic shell has had 
its vicissitudes. It would have been destroyed 
at the time of the French Revolution, whose 
agents spared neither the town of Pau nor 
its illustrious old castle, had it not been, 
with the connivance of the caretaker, secretly 
abstracted by a Royalist of good family, a 
certain Monsieur de Beauregard. Not until 
the year 18 14 was it considered safe to pro- 
duce the concealed treasure ; which was then, 
with much rejoicing, reinstated in the castle. 
It now reposes in all honour beneath the 
plumed helmet of the Huguenot monarch, 
its original occupant. 




A quaint old memorial of the 
Pilgrim Fathers is the cradle of the 
Fuller family. Dr. Samuel Fuller was 
one of the elders who sailed in the 
Mayflower, and was no less remark- 
able for his piety than for his skill 
in his profession. His wife was left 
behind, but followed her husband 
afterwards in the Anne. Dr. Fuller 
died in 1633. 

More than three centuries divide 
the German Emperors, Maximilian I. 
and William I. Alas for modern 
progress in the arts and crafts : it is 
but too clear that the monarch of the 
Middle Ages, who compiled his own curious 
biography, possessed the more artistic cradle 




CRADLE OF MAXIMILIAN I. 



CRADLE OF WILLIAM I. OF GERMANY. 

of the two. A very similar one, a decided 
"thing of beauty," was unearthed by a 
traveller some years ago in a remote Alpine 
village. The symbolic "I.H.S." is also to 
be seen at the head of the seventeenth 
century English crib, given in our next illus- 
tration. 

An ancient cradle from Cairo, exhibited 
in the South Kensington Museum, is inlaid 
with mother-of-pearl, and is a veritable 
bergeau de luxe. For what olive-skinned 
morsel of humanity, Royal or otherwise, it 
was prepared we know not. 

In striking contrast is the roughly-made 
but comfortable cradle of the Hungarian 
peasant, in which the baby lies snugly corded, 
and which can be easily rocked with the 



THE STRAND MAGAZINE. 




A SEVENTEENTH CENTURY CRIB. 

foot. By the way, there is a widespread 
superstition that it is a disastrous thing to 
rock an empty cradle; a new baby would 
speedily arrive to fill it. 

Before closing this article, a passing 
mention should be made of the ancient 
custom, still kept up, of presenting a silver 
cradle to the wife of a Mayor whose family 



receives an addition during his year of office. 
The Times of July ist, 1799, has a notice of 
one about to be presented to the Lady 
Mayoress, which was to cost ^500 ; and the 
Mayoress of Liverpool in 1848 was the 
recipient of a very handsome miniature 




H- TUcJLur 

HUNGARIAN CRADLE. 

" berceau " shaped like a Nautilus shell. 
Upon the base was inscribed : — 

Ye Spirit of Ye Legende. 

Gif Leverpooles good maier everre bee 
Made fatherre inne hys yere of maioraltee, 
Thenne sd be giften bye ye townmenne free, 
Ane silverre cradle too hys faire ladye. 




ANCIENT INLAID CRADLE FROM CAIRO. 



Bank of England Notes. 



By Gilbert Guerdon. 




N the good old times, if the 
Chancellor of the Exchequer 
wanted to borrow money of 
the general public — as he 
often did — the only acknow- 
ledgment he gave was " a tally." 
These tallies were pieces of stick notched to 
express value, and then split in two, one half 
being given to the lender, the other retained 
by the officers of the Exchequer. It was the 
burning of an accumulation of these old 
tallies in the vaults of the House of Com- 
mons which set fire to and helped to burn 
down the Houses of Parliament in 1834. 

When bankers borrowed money they gave 
a " note " containing a promise to repay, and 
the earliest of these bank-notes were given 
for any amount which a customer liked 
to lend or deposit, and he could with- 
draw as much as he wished till the total 
had been received, and then the Bank 
claimed the note. Privileged visitors to 
the Bank of England are shown in a 
glazed frame the oldest known note, dated 
" 19th Xber, 1699," for ^555, and an 
inspection of it shows that the bank-notes 
at that period were printed from engraved 



plates, with blanks for the amount, date, 
number, and signature. In texture and 
general appearance they were similar to 
those at present in use, and the water-mark 
can be distinctly seen. Across the note are 
written memoranda 6howing repayment by 
three instalments. 

The signature at the foot of the note is 
that of the chief cashier. Fifty years ago 
there were different signatures, according to 
the values of the notes, but for many years 
there has been but one for all values, namely, 
that of the chief cashier, F. May, who has 
now retired. The signature is imprinted by 
authority of an Act of Parliament. 

The new chief cashier is Mr. Horace G. 
Bowen, and all notes dated on and after 
1 6th November, 1893, are signed by him 
with a special autograph. All the notes with 
the old signature were issued before the 
new ones were put in circulation. 

Notes are cancelled by having the 
corner bearing the signature cut off. There 
are several sacks full of these corners 
in the Bank cellars, and they are periodically 
destroyed by burning. 

Amongst other curiosities in the Bank 



§jrfL 10 











&>oyaksf&rwLa7u)^y\ 



THE OLDEST BANK-NOTE KNOWN. 



THE STRAND MAGAZINE. 



Library is a note for ^25, which had slum- 
bered unobserved for one hundred and eleven 
years and was then presented and paid. If 
compound interest had been payable by the 
Bank, the owner could have claimed over 
^60,000. 

Another curiosity, believed to be unique, 
is a bank-note for ^1,000,000, dated 1782. 
Tradition says that there have been but four 
such notes issued by the Bank. One is the 
note just referred to, Messrs. Rothschilds had 
one, Messrs. Coutts and Co. another, and 
Samuel Rogers, the poet, had the fourth, 
which, it is said, was framed and hung over 
his parlour mantelpiece. 

But perhaps the greatest curiosity is the 
note for ^1,000 representing the fine im- 
posed on Lord Cochrane for his, erroneously 
supposed, connection with a fraud for artifi- 
cially raising the price of the public funds. 
The note is indorsed as follows : — 

" My health having suffered by long and 
close confinement, and my oppressors having 
resolved to deprive me of property or life, I 
submit to Robbery, to protect myself from 
Murder, in the hope that I shall live to bring 
the delinquents to justice. 

" Grated Chamber, " Cochrane. 

"King's Bench Prison, 3 July, 1815." 

A singular use was made of a ^5 note 
now in the Bank archives, which bears the 
following indorsement : — 

" If this note gets into the hands of John 
Dear, of Longhill, near Carlisle, his brother 
Andrew is a prisoner in Algiers." 



This notification was copied into a Carlisle 
newspaper, and John Dear thus became 
aware of the whereabouts of his long-lost 
brother. 

If bank-notes could only speak, what 
romantic tales of joy and misery they could 
tell! 

A visit to the Bank is extremely interesting, 
and some information recently gleaned re- 
lating to bank-notes is well worth recording. 

The component parts of a bank-note are the 
paper, the water-mark, the ink, the engraving, 
the printing, and the signature. Bank of 
England note-paper is made by Messrs. Portal, 
at their mills in Hampshire. The tray on 
which the pulp is lifted is the size of a pair 
of notes, and measures 5m. by i6^in. Thus 
there are, when issued, right-hand and left- 
hand notes, the inner side of each showing a 
clean cut edge, and the rest of the edges 
being rough, or as it is called " deckled." 

The top right-hand corner of a right- 
hand note looks as if a piece of the paper 
had been rubbed off, but this is done pur- 
posely, to .enable the printer to know when 
the water-mark is right side up. The annual 
output is 14,000 reams. As recently as the 
year 1862 some thieves broke into the mills 
and stole some of the prepared paper, and 
forged notes were soon in circulation ; but it 
was not long before the whole gang of 
forgers was caught, the paper recovered, and 
the thieves transported. 

The water-mark is so much an integral 
part of the note that it was specially protected 




PRINTING BANK-NOTES. 



BANK OF ENGLAND NOTES. 



213 




COUNTING BANK-NOTES. 



by Act of Parliament in 1763, and any 
attempt to imitate it was made punishable 
with death — -now the punishment is penal 
servitude. 

The ink was formerly made from the 
charred remains of the skins and stones of 
Rhenish grapes ; now it is made from naphtha 
smoke, and is remarkable for being absolutely 
black, hard, and dry. It is noticeable in old 
bank-notes that the printing in some is much 
darker than in others. This very objection- 
able lack of uniformity was due to the 
practice of printing two notes from one 
inking — the second impression being 
necessarily lighter than the first. Now, by a 
very simple but 
ingenious con- 
trivance, the 
inking rollers 
only take up 
just enough ink 
for one impres- 
sion. 

All Bank of 
England notes 
are printed in 
the Bank, where 
there are six 
machines con- 
stantly at work. 
The notes are 
printed in pairs, 
and come off the 
machines pressed 
and dried. The 
number of notes 
printed is re- 
corded on dials 
at the side of 

Vol. viii. — 29. 



each machine, and, of course, 
corresponds with the numbers on 
the notes, as they are automatically 
delivered to the receiving clerk. It 
only remains for the twin notes to 
be cut asunder, and they are ready 
for issue. 

The stock of notes of various 
values, from ^5 to ^1,000 each, 
is kept in iron safes in one large 
fireproof room, and the average 
value of the stock is from seventy 
to eighty million pounds. 

Nearly 50,000 notes of different 
values are paid into the Bank every 
day, and are immediately sorted, 
first into values, then into dates, 
and then into numbers ; and as 
every note has a place of its own 
in the Bank registers, its return can 
be instantly recorded, and anything unusual 
relating to it is duly noted there. Forged 
notes are instinctively detected by the 
examining clerks. The feel is usually enough. 
There are very few forgeries now, but a 
hundred years ago they were rife. The first 
recorded instance of the forgery of a Bank 
of England note has a singular touch of 
romance about it. The forger was a linen- 
draper at Stafford, named Vaughan, who, in 
the year 1758, employed several workmen to 
engrave different parts of a ^20 note, and 
when a dozen had been printed off he 
deposited them with a young lady to whom 
he was engaged to be married as a proof of 




SORTING BANK-NOTES. 



214 



THE STRAND MAGAZINE. 




BANK-NOTES LIBRARY. 



his wealth; but the imposition was discovered, 
and Vaughan was hanged. 

"All is fair in love and war," says the 
proverb, but that would hardly excuse forgery, 
though used as "an instrument of war"; 
nevertheless, note forgeries were justified by 
the judges in the early part of the present 
century, and when the English found that 
the French had forged English bank-notes, 
they retaliated by forging French assignats. 
Anyhow, the number of forgeries was 
astounding, for between 1801 and 18 10 the 
Bank clerks detected ;£ 10 1,661 worth of 
forged notes. 

One of the cleverest imitations of a bank- 
note was the work of a poor schoolmaster, 
who forged an entire note with pen and ink, 
and, sad to say, was hanged. 

John Mathieson, who was convicted for 
forging the water-mark, offered to show the 
Directors how it was done if he were pardoned, 
but they would not withdraw the prosecution. 

Singularly enough, forgeries first began to 
be frequent soon after the introduction of 
the one-pound note, and in April, 1802, Mr. 
Addington told the House of Commons that 
the forgeries had increased so alarmingly that 
seventy extra clerks were required at the Bank 
merely to detect them. 

In the year 181 7 the nominal value of the 
forged paper presented at the Bank of 
England was ^37,180, and the greater part of 
this large sum was in one-pound notes. Paper 
of higher value, which necessarily circulated 



under greater 
precautions, 
was less often 
counterfeited. 
A Parliamen- 
tary report 
showed that 
in the eight 
years previous 
to 1797 there 
was not one 
prosecution 
for forgery of 
bank-notes, 
but in the 
eight years 
fol lo wi n g 
there were 
146 capital 
convictions. 
In the year 
1817 alone 
there were 
thir ty-t w o 
convictions 
for forgery, and ninety-five for possession of 
forged notes. These prosecutions excited a 
strong feeling in the public mind against the 
Bank Directors, which was increased when it 
was found that the sad sacrifice of human life 
did not lessen the forgeries. Parliament, the 
Society of Arts, the Bank Directors, and a 
host of philanthropists turned their attention 
to the task of discovering, if possible, a 
means for preventing forgeries of bank- 
notes. 

The report made in 18 19 by the Royal 
Commissioners stated that 108 schemes had 
been submitted to them, but that every one 
of the specimen notes had been successfully 
imitated by the Bank engravers, and all the 
schemes were therefore condemned as useless. 
There were also submitted seventy varieties 
of bank-note paper, but only a few of the 
proposed improvements turned out to be 
practically useful. 

The typographic note was a wonderful 
piece of ingenious industry, comprising as it 
did over 6,000 letters of diamond type. 
But the counterfeiting of it was, after all, 
only a question of money, and the so-called 
" private marks " were but typographical 
blunders purposely made, which would soon 
have been discovered, and, being known and 
imitated, would then have further facilitated 
deception. At the time that it was set up, in 
18 19, Mr. Hansard, the printer, estimated 
that, with specially made new founts of type, 
the first note would have cost more than 



BANK OF ENGLAND NOTES. 



2I 5 



■£*9--ae»'v*!!2-flSL_ t»~ 5.-. • 







og°oooo<J go 
'oojjjo 



♦fluojatf £t *33C0 qaSaotf » Huuajin afjjj* 




■ •S.o a*i =•= ., Slo-5 3 feJ-g 



.!= as" !°i ^?.;3s 



2l6 



THE STRAND MAGAZINE. 



^"15,000, and would have taken twelve 
months to complete. 

The caricature bank-note by George Cruik- 
shank, called " The Bank Restriction Note," 
speaks for itself. It was considered to be a 
very keen satire, and it no doubt helped in a 
small degree to put a stop to hanging for 
note forging. 

Country one-pound notes were not so fre- 
quently forged, partly because they were 
usually more artistic in design, and therefore 
more difficult to counterfeit; and partly from 
their having imprinted on the back the 
revenue stamp in red and black, which 
was not easily imitated. This tax was first 
imposed in 1800, and was then only two- 
pence, but it was increased to threepence in 
1805, to fourpence in 1808, and to fivepence 
in 18 1 5. There is still a tax on Scotch and 
Irish bank-notes, but, being compounded for, 
the stamp is not impressed. 

But though the Bank lost considerably 
through forgeries, they recouped themselves 
in a great measure by the profit accruing 
on lost or accidentally destroyed notes. One 
of the earliest cases which raised the ques- 
tion of the liability of the Bank was that of 
a note which had been eaten by a goat. 
Thieves, to avoid detection, have often 
eaten bank-notes, drunken sailors have 
made sandwiches of them, many are lost 
by flood and fire, and all to the profit of 
the Bank. The Directors, however, are 



always ready to pay on good evidence of 
accidental destruction. 

There are to be seen at the Bank the 
remains of a ^50 note burned in the big fire 
at Chicago. The date and number and 
amount can be traced on the cinder, and that 
was sufficient for the Bank. A somewhat 
similar case is that of the Irishman who hid 
some bank-notes in a box in his back garden, 
but forgetting the spot, failed to find them 
for some months, and then when found 
they were so dilapidated with damp that 
they had no appearance of bank-notes. The 
Bank clerks, however, took the remains and 
deciphered enough printing to enable them 
to give Pat an equivalent value in new 
notes. 

A mutilated note is paid if the owner 
gives an indemnity, but if the smallest part 
be missing an indemnity is always required. 

The well-known case of Gillet v. the Bank 
of England demonstrates the risk of carrying 
bank-notes loose in the pocket. The Bank 
offered to pay the ^"1,000 claimed, if the 
applicants would give a proper indemnity, 
in case it should turn out that the note had 
been stolen and not destroyed, but there 
was too much uncertainty about the dis- 
appearance of the note to justify anyone 
risking an indemnity. 

All mutilated notes, and notes for which 
indemnities have been taken, are per- 
manently preserved ; all other notes are 





"O 






aZ/jvulJ/sia //. 



^BANIC OrJENGZAND. 

... jg/dfkJL 



GEORGE CRUIKSHANK S CARICATURE BANK-NOTE. 



BANK OF ENGLAND NOTES. 



217 



kept five years in the Bank cellars, 
and then destroyed by burning. In 
i88i,when the last return was made, 
the stock of paid notes for five years 
was about 77,745,000 in number, and 
they filled 13,400 boxes, which, if 
placed side by side, would reach 2^5 
miles; if the notes were placed in 
a pile, they would reach to a height of 
5^3 miles; or, if joined end to 
end, would form a ribbon 12,455 
miles long; their superficial extent 
is rather less than that of Hyde 
Park ; their original value was over 
;£ 1, 750,626,600, and their weight 
over 90^ tons. 

The boxes are all admirably ar- 
ranged so that any note which is 
stored in the catacombs can be found 
in a few minutes. 

In these vaults are also stored the 
registers of the birth, death, and 
burial of every note. 

The first English bank-notes of 
less value than five pounds were 
issued by authority of a short Act of 
Parliament, which had been hastily 
prepared during a financial crisis, and 
was passed on the 3rd of March, 
1797, to meet the pressing emergencies 
of the moment. The earliest of the 
notes were dated a day before the 
was passed, and it was made retrospective 
in its operation so as to include them. 

It is now penal to imitate a Bank of Eng- 
land note, even in the most innocent way. 
For example, it has been decided in an action 
at law that it is unlawful to copy, even in the 
large mural advertisements, the peculiar en- 
graving of Old English letters in white upon a 
black ground, which is found on all Bank of 
England notes. The notes may not be pho- 
tographed, and microscopic slides, and the 
well-known miniature toy lenses containing 
facsimile notes of the size of a pin's head, 
have been confiscated by the Bank authori- 
ties, and the vendors prosecuted. "The 
Bank of Elegance " notes, at one time so 
useful to the swell mobsmen, and many 
similar productions, have all been very pro- 
perly suppressed. 

As to the question of durability, it was 
estimated that one-pound notes were worn 
out in three years. Now, a sovereign lasts 
about nineteen years, and is then worth 




new 

Act 



THE BANK CELLARS. 



within a fraction of twenty shillings. A 
bank-note costs about threepence, which 
would be a heavy charge on a paper pound 
if only issued once. The proposal of Sir 
Henry Bessemer to issue twenty shilling 
tokens made of aluminium is not likely to 
commend itself to any Chancellor of the 
Exchequer, and, besides, it would not be 
popular. 

On the score of portability, of course 
notes are much preferable to coin, as about 
390 of them weigh only ilb. We have 
before now heard of a young lady who was 
"worth her weight in gold," but it has 
probably only happened once that two sisters 
were actually worth their weight in paper 
pounds. A record of eccentric wills, how- 
ever, tells us that a testator left his two 
daughters the money equivalent of their 
weight in one-pound notes. The elder, 
whose weight was 9S1. 2lb., claimed ^51,200, 
and the younger, who weighed a stone heavier, 
had for her dot ^57,300. Notes were then 
a trifle heavier than those now in circula- 
tion, about 400 of them weighing ilb. 



From Behind the Speaker s Chair. 



XVII. 

(VIEWED BY HENRY W. LUCY.) 



THE British workman who insists 
a day's upon the limit of an eight hours' 
work, day might usefully meditate on 
the particulars and extent of a 
day's work of one of Her Majesty's Ministers 
when the House of Commons is in Session. 
He appears in his place — and in the Par- 
liamentary reports — at half-past three in the 
afternoon, when public business commences. 
He will have an average of a dozen questions 
to reply to, each involving more or less 
research and consideration. Afterwards he 
may take a leading part in debate on the 
question of the hour. In these days, happily, 
business of the House of Commons occa- 
sionally terminates on the stroke of mid- 
night. But at best there is necessitated close 
attendance for eight hours and a half upon 
work of the most exigent character, carried 
on in the fierce light that beats on the 
Treasury Bench. 

Yet the actual House of Commons work 
is merely the supplement of what has 
already amounted to far more than an ordi- 
nary day's work. The other day a Minister 
casually mentioned to me, rather with an 
air of satisfaction than of complaint, how 
he had spent the last twenty-four hours. 
After breakfast, following upon a late sitting 
of the House (the twelve o'clock rule having 
been suspended), he went to his office 
and spent a couple of hours in transacting 
the business of one of the most important 
departments of the State. Thence he pro- 
ceeded to a Committee-room of the House 
of Commons, where, at noon, he took the 
chair, and conducted the cross-examination 
of three experts giving evidence upon an 
intricate case of inquiry remitted to a Select 
Committee. At half-past three he was on the 
Treasury Bench and answered eleven ques- 
tions, not to count others " arising out of the 
answer just made." As soon as questions 
were over, he moved the second reading of 
one of the principal measures of the Govern- 
ment programme, explaining a scheme of 



infinite detail affecting national interests and 
bristling with controversial points. There- 
after, till midnight approached, he sat atten- 
tively listening to and noting a long 
succession of speeches offering criticisms on 
the measure. At twenty minutes past eleven 
he rose and replied on the whole debate, 
concluding his speech in time to suffer 
the disappointment of seeing the debate 
adjourned. 

This is pretty rough on a man. 
"in prison But perhaps the hardest thing 

often." to bear is the necessity imposed 
upon a Minister of dining at the 
House of Commons every night the House 
is in Session. Not for him the bright social 
feasts which make merry the London season. 
More especially at the present epoch, when 
parties are evenly balanced, the duty of being 
present for every division weighs with more 
than usual heaviness on a Minister. 

Even in times of less strenuous strife it is 
considered bad form for a Minister to show 
himself in the House of Commons in dinner 
dress. Oddly enough, variation to this rule 
was in recent years made by Mr. Gladstone, 
who during the last few Sessions of active 
Parliamentary life was a habitual diner-out. 
Even when the Home Rule Bill of last 
Session was in Committee, he would leave 
the House just before eight o'clock, dress 
with the rapidity of what in theatrical par- 
lance is known as a quick change artist, 
dine out, and be back again soon .after 
ten o'clock, ready, if necessity called (and 
sometimes when it didn't), to make a big 
speech. 

It was only an octogenarian of 

mr. Mr. Gladstone's vitality that 

disraeli. could thus burn the candle at 

both ends. I knew Mr. Disraeli 

in the House of Commons through the 

last years of his Premiership, and do not 

recall a single occasion when he appeared in 

evening dress. He did not habitually dine 

in the House, but went off at regular hours, and 



FROM BEHIND THE SPEAKERS CHAIR. 



2x9 



after a moderate interval returned, to remain 
at his post till the principal order of the day 
was disposed of, an event which, in his time, 
was not accomplished on the stroke of 
midnight. But he was 
always in morning dress, 
and none of his col- 
leagues ventured to vary 
the fashion on the 
Treasury Bench. 

In the Parliaments 
following the General 
Election of 1886 Mr. 
Gladstone became a 
regular diner-out. 
Through the Parliament 
of 1880-85 ne dined 
at home, in morning 
dress, and used to 
astonish the House with 
the brevity of the time 
he found sufficient to 
drive to Downing Street, 
swallow his dinner, and 
be back on the Treasury 
Bench. The present 
Leader of the House 
of Commons dines 
regularly in the House, 
in which respect he 
resembles the late Mr. W. H. Smith. Mr. 
Smith dined every night in his own room, 
covers being laid for four or six, according 
to invitations issued to his colleagues, or to 
occasional guests from the back Ministerial 
benches. 

The Speaker is within measur- 
able distance of his own dining- 
table. But his opportunities for 
enjoying an evening meal are 
strictly and sorely limited. Half an hour is 
the period during which proceedings in the 
House of Commons are suspended so that 
the Speaker may take what is known as " his 
chop." 

That the meal should be thus designated 
is a practice of long standing. It certainly 
goes back as far as the time of Fergus 
O'Connor, who was member for Cork from 
1832 to 1835, sitting for Nottingham from 
1847 to !852. Towards the close of his 
career Mr. O'Connor displayed signs of 
eccentricity that filled his friends with con- 
cern. According to an old House of Com- 
mons' tradition, which it would be difficult 
to trace to a reliable source, the Chartist 
leader was left unrestrained, till one day, so 
the story runs, " he went behind the chair 
and ate the Speaker's chop." 




THE 
SPEAKER'S 
" CHOP. 



There is a looseness of reference to 
locality which throws doubt on this record. 
It seems to imply that the Speaker's even- 
ing meal was spread on a table at the 
back of the chair ; that 
the member for Not- 
tingham accidentally 
passing by, attracted by 
a savoury smell, lifted 
the cover from the dish, 
and, finding a chop 
there, straightway sat 
down and ate it. Forty 
years ago, as now, the 
Speaker had his resi- 
dence within the pre- 
cincts of Westminster, 
and would take his 
chop in his own dining- 
room, where no stray 
members of Parliament 
of tottering intellect 
would be admitted. I 
mention the story only 
as showing that the 
tradition which particu- 
larizes the Speaker's 
evening meal as a chop 
is of respectable an- 
tiquity. 
Whilst Ministers who have their 
private rooms may and often do 
have their dinners sent in from 
the common kitchen, it is more 
usual to use one of the dining-rooms, 
where a table is reserved. Private members 
may secure tables, or places at tables, 
by giving due notice. There is a room 
known as the Terrace-room that may be 
engaged by members for dinners of 
which strangers may partake, and where, 



MEASURABLE DISTANCE 



THE 
TERRACE- 
ROOM. 




' I DON T WANT TO SIT THERE. 



THE STRAND MAGAZINE. 



THE 

KITCHEN 

COMMITTEE 



after dinner, smoking is permitted. It is in 
great request through the season, and that 
accommodation should be limited to its 
use is one of the curiosities of Parliamentary 
social life. There is another and larger room 
where members may entertain ladies at 
dinner. But the whole accommodation to 
meet the stern necessity of dining in the 
House of Commons is lamentably inadequate. 
Up to a period dating back 
some ten years the commis- 
sariat of the House of Com- 
mons was in the hands of an 
outside purveyor. He retired, it is said, 
with a considerable fortune. Whereupon it 
was decided that members should undertake 
the direction of their kitchen affairs on the 
principle of club management. A Kitchen 
Committee was formed, and 
is appointed every Session, 
with others of far less import- 
ance. Up to the present time 
the Committee has not been 
more fortunate than was the 
professional purveyor in real- 
izing the ideal of the ordinary 
member of a decent dinner 
at a fair price. This is 
certainly not due to the fact 
that they are making a large 
profit out of the undertaking. 
On the contrary, were it not 
for a subsidy of a thousand 
a year forthcoming from the 
public purse, the balance- 
sheet of the commissariat 
department of the House of 
Commons would last year 
have been on the wrong side 
by the sum of ^993 5s. 7d. 

It would seem at first sight 
that the contract for feeding 
the House of Commons is a sure way to 
wealth. The advantages pertaining to the 
undertaking are extensive and peculiar. There 
is no rent to pay ; gas and firing are free ; 
glass, crockery, knives and forks and table- 
linen are thrown in. Finally there is the 
subsidy of ^1,000 a year — all this in addi- 
tion to the monopoly of feeding for six or 
seven months in the year 670 gentlemen. 

The difficulty arises from the uncertainty 
attending sittings of the House. The cooks 
may prepare broth, with things to follow, for 
two or three hundred legislators. The House 
may forthwith be counted out, and not half-a- 
dozen remain for dinner. On the other hand, 
as happened last Session, the House may 
unexpectedly sit all night, and the larder 




SECRET OF 
FAILURE. 



ONE OF THE KITCHEN COMMITTEE, 



may be picked absolutely clean before one 
o'clock in the morning. These are extreme 
cases ; but they are conditions that must be 
met, and are faced according to existing 
arrangements by what would appear to be 
absolutely the worst device. The condi- 
tions of the House of Commons are pre- 
cisely those which test most severely the 
resources of a private and exclusive com- 
missariat department. They are, moreover, 
exactly those that would be best controlled 
by an independent outside organization 
which, at touch with the hungry public at 
various points, would never be embarrassed 
by having suddenly and unexpectedly 
thrown on its hands material for dinner 
not wanted by the House of Commons on 
a particular night. 

A gentleman 

closely connected 

with the Kitchen 

Committee told 

me with tears in his eyes that 

the Irish members are at the 

root of the undoubted failure 

of the House of Commons' 

kitchen. 

" An Irish member," he 
said, " will insist when he 
is helped to chicken upon 
having the wing served to 
him — by choice, the liver- 
wing. Now, there are a 
hundred and three Irish 
members, eighty of whom 
pretty regularly dine in the 
House when they are in atten- 
dance on their Parliamentary 
duties. When you come to 
serving out eighty chicken 
wings, you will see that what 
is left for the mere British is 
of a monotonously inferior description, sure 
to lead to heart-burning and reproaches. 
Toujours drumstick unhinges a man's mind, 
and leads to a state of things in which com- 
plaint is common and dissatisfaction rife." 

There may be something in this. Obviously 
it does not cover the whole ground of dis- 
satisfaction with House of Commons' dinners. 
This Session the Kitchen Com- 
mittee, pertinaciously pursued by 
Mr. Alpheus Cleophas Morton, 
coyly put forward a balance- 
sheet setting forth their expendi- 
ture and receipts. This shows that there was 
taken over the counter a sum exceeding 
;£i 7,000. That would be above the average 
of ordinary Sessions, since the accounts are 



THE 

KITCHEN 
BALANCE- 
SHEET. 



FROM BEHIND THE SPEAKERS CHAIR. 



221 



those of the year 1893, when there was a 
winter Session. 

The sales are somewhat arbitrarily grouped, 
" cigars and provisions " being bracketed as 
realizing ^"10,498, whilst "wines, spirits, 
mineral waters, etc.," bring in ^6,519. What 
the " etc." may stand for remains a matter 
for conjecture. Presumably it has something 
to do with cheese, for on the other side of 
the ledger there is a sum of ^983 paid for 
" cheese, etc." 

The largest item in the kitchen account 
is for wines and spirits, which tot up to the 
precise sum of ^3,985 us. nd. This, 
with an addition of ^532 for beer and ^422 
for mineral waters, shows that the House of 
Commons is a pretty thirsty place. A stock 
of cigars to the tune of ^567 was laid in. 
The butcher's bill is a trifle over ,£3,000. 
Fish stands at ,£941 ; poultry and game at 
^,"761, within 40s. of the amount spent for 
vegetables. Bread and biscuits cost ^360, 
and groceries ^628. This last item is 
concerned with those tea-parties on the 
terrace, which through the summer of last 
year formed one of the most popular features 
of a brilliant season. Wages and manage- 
ment sum up to close upon ^4,000, and 
last of all in the ledger comes the modest 
line : " Net profit, £6 14s. 5d." 

This profit, as has been shown, would have 
been swallowed up and a dire deficit sub- 
stituted but for the ^1,000 which the House 
in its own relief votes from the national 
coffers. 

This is not, as it stands, a parti- 
the moral cularly flourishing balance-sheet. 

of it. It would be interesting to have a 
few remarks upon it from an 
expert engaged in one of the big hotels or 
large clubs. It would not greatly matter if 
the result were satisfactory, and the House 
of Commons' dinner were in any reason- 
able degree delectable. That such is not 
the case is a fact painfully notorious. In 
debate on the subject which took place in 
June, not a single good word was said for 
cook or Committee. Mr. Chamberlain, 
speaking elsewhere about the same time, 
humorously contemplating the prospect 
of prison fare, said he could face it 
with equanimity, since he was accustomed 
to dine in the House of Commons. The 
gibe is cruel, but not nearly so cruel as 
the fate imposed upon Ministers and other 
members compelled or accustomed to dine 
regularly at the House. It is hard and 
unjust upon the Committee who devote much 
time and thought to the business, getting, by 

Vol. viii.— 30. 



COLONEL 

SAUNDER- 

SON. 



way of recompense, kicks unrelieved by 
the gleam of halfpence. That they know 
nothing about the business, have neither 
natural aptitude nor experience gained else- 
where, is not their fault. What is wrong 
with the business is that it is entirely bad, 
founded upon a system hopelessly unapplic- 
able to the situation. 

It seems a bitter satire on sufficiency that 
the House of Commons can supervise the 
affairs of the universe and cannot serve itself 
with a comfortable dinner at a moderate 
price. 

The temporary withdrawal of 
Colonel Saunderson from the 
political arena has done some- 
thing to eclipse the gaiety of the 
House of Commons. At this present time 
of writing, the Colonel, who last Session was 
usually in front of the fight, whether with 
tongue or fists, has made but a solitary 
appearance. That was in the earliest days 
of the Session, when the Address was still 
under consideration. Mr. Labouchere having 
carried an amendment which the Govern- 
ment could not accept, it became necessary 
to begin all over again. A fresh Address 
was brought in. Sir William Harcourt had 
risen to move it. Mr. John Morley, with 
nothing more striking in his dress than the 
familiar red necktie tied in sailor's knot, was 
waiting to second it, when Colonel Saunder- 
son interposed, and gravely suggested that 
the House should adjourn, so as to give 
opportunity to the Chancellor of the Exche- 
quer to retire to his room, and before he 
moved the Address " array himself in uniform 
suitable to his rank." 

Having fired this shot, the Colonel dis- 
appeared from the field in which he was 
wont to fill a prominent part, and everyone 
will be sorry to know that the limitation of 
his public duties is occasioned by failing 
health. 

Whilst the Colonel was still in 

a new constant residence in his house 

outrage, in Sloane Street, he was the 

victim of an outrage sufficient 

to shatter nerves of less tempered steel. 

One morning during the height of the 

controversy round the Home Rule Bill, he 

was seated in his study preparing a few 

impromptus to brighten up a speech against 

Mr. Gladstone's Bill. Raising his eyes from 

the manuscript in pursuit of an idea, they 

fell upon a snake stealthily making its way 

across the floor in the direction of the 

statesman's chair. The Colonel is not to be 

trifled with, even by a snake. He was on his 



THE STRAND MAGAZINE. 



feet in a moment, and after 
brief exertion the snake 
stretched its long length, 
dead on the floor. 

This incursion seemed a 
development of Home Rule 
tendencies passing all bounds. 
It was enough to have un- 
happy Ireland scared by 
dynamite explosions, shocked 
by the houghing of cattle, 
and the slaughtering of suc- 
cessors on homesteads of 
evicted tenants. But that a 
prominent member of a party 
opposed to Nationalist feel- 
ing should have the study of 
his London house infested 
with deadly reptiles seemed 
to be going too far. 

Colonel Saunderson is a 
practical man. He lamented 
this fresh development of 
internecine animosity. But 
he put the snake in a bottle 
of spirits, and placed it on a shelf to await 
further development of the mystery. 

This was not long coming, being brought 
about in a manner equal to the dramatic 
discovery of the direful snake. Dining one 
evening in Stratton Street, Colonel Saunder- 
son told this latest, and abnormally true, 
snake story. Amongst the guests at table 
was a popular actor accustomed to thrill 
London audiences in various dark disguises 
and multiform desperate situations. Never 
in his most inspired moments had his voice 
possessed such blood-curdling thrill, or his 
gestures more command, than now when he 
smote the table and cried aloud : — 

" Why, that's my snake ! " 




RIGHTEOUS 
JUDGE.' 



COLONEL SAUNDERSON. 




Jtf^ 



THAT S MY SNAKE 



Explanations were forthcoming that estab- 
lished the fact. The Colonel and the actor 
are neighbours in the same street, divided by 



a house and a long strip of 
garden. Amongst the cher- 
ished members of the family 
circle in the actor's home 
was a spotted snake. One 
day it disappeared, the most 
persistent and passionate in- 
quiries failing to discover its 
place of retirement. Now 
the whole secret was out. 
The snake had climbed the 
wall, crossed the intervening 
garden, made another ascent, 
dropped into Colonel Saun- 
derson's garden, and, finding 
the study window open, had 
made itself at home in new 
quarters. 

,, . There now arose 

"oh ! most, , ,. 

fresh complica- 
tion. To whom 
did the body of 
the defunct snake belong? 
The actor claimed it as his ; 
Colonel Saunderson insisted 
that the laws of sport gave it to him. He 
had hunted it, slain it, and, moreover, put it 
in pickle. 

Fortunately there was present at the 
dinner-table a judge whose opinion deservedly 
carries supreme weight. Appealed to to 
decide, he delivered an interesting and 
important judgment. Suppose, he said in 
effect, the reptile had been of the rattlesnake 
breed, or even a trigonocephalies tisiphone, it 
would, coming within the category of a wild 
animal, have been the property of the man 
who killed it. It was apparently a coluber 
constrictor, naturally harmless, and, according 
to the evidence, tame. Therefore it was the 
property of its original owner, and must be 
returned to him. But — and it was here Lord 
Esher's famed subtlety in regard to the 
niceties of crowner's quest law came in — the 
spirits in which the snake had been preserved 
belonged to Colonel Saunderson, and no 
portion of them, even though absorbed in 
the skin of the reptile, might be abstracted and 
retained by the rightful owner of the snake. 

There the matter was left, and there it 
rests, as does the body of the snake in the 
bottle of brandy. 

In the matter of official or 
Ministerial spectacles London 
lags behind some of the other 
capitals of Europe. There is, 
however, one occasion when 
this sort of thing is done as well in London 
as it used to be in Paris in the days of the 



BIRTHDAY 

NIGHT AT 

THE FOREIGN 

OFFICE. 



FROM BEHIND THE SPEAKERS CHAIR. 



223 




THE MASTER OF THE ROLLS SETTLES 
THE CASE. 



Empire, and is to-day in Berlin or St. Peters- 
burg. It is the reception given at the 
Foreign Office on the Queen's birthday. 

All the circumstances and surroundings 
contribute to success. The Foreign Office 
is one of the few public buildings suitable 
for the gathering. Its spacious staircase, not 
too far-reaching nor steep of access, serves 
as a conduit through which the brilliant 
stream passes on the way to spread itself out 
in the spacious reception-room. For more 
than an hour the staircase is the centre of 
attraction. Guests make a point of going early, 
so that they may obtain favourable positions 
on the landing to look over, and watch the 
crowd slowly struggling upwards. Here may 
be seen nearly all Britons famous in Politics, 
literature, Science, and 
Art. Later, when the 
theatres are closed, 
comes on the Drama. 

The faces are familiar 
enough, but the apparel 
is often rare. It is the 
custom on the Queen's 
birthday for some of 
the principal Cabinet 
Ministers to entertain 
their colleagues and 
others at full-dress din- 
ners. After dinner all 
ways lead to Downing 
Street, converging on 
the staircase of the 
Foreign Office. Apart 
from the Ministerial din- 
ners, every man who 
owns a uniform of any 



VANISHED 
FIGURE. 




kind or a Court suit puts it on. Ribbons of 
all the Orders known to European Courts lend 
added colour to the scene. Stars and Orders 
flash on manly breasts. Every State in 
the world is represented by its Minister, in 
uniform or, in the case of the emissary of 
the Emperor of China, in national dress. 
Amid the crowd of bared heads Rustem 
Pasha wears his fez, and on this year's 
Birthday Count de Staal invested Russia 
with more than usual distinction by wearing 
a pair of ivory coloured pantaloons — " mystic, 
white samite." 

It is on occasion like this that 
one feels what a blow was dealt 
at the not too lavish decoration 
of London by the pressure of 
economic considerations which led to the 
withdrawal of the Greek Minister. At 
Foreign Office parties, M. Gennadius, the 
exceedingly clever diplomatist who long re- 
presented the King of Greece at the Court 
of St. James's, was a thing of beauty and re- 
mains a joy for ever. Solomon in all his 
glory was not arrayed like the Greek Minister. 
Cloth of gold was the material out of which 
his cunningly-constructed raiment was de- 
vised. There was, perhaps, more gold than 
cloth. As far as peeps were permitted of 
the material beneath the heavy braid of gold, 
the coat was blue, the trousers white. By 
his side dangled a heavily jewelled scimitar. 
Essentially a man of peace, M. Gennadius, 
with the instinct of a diplomatist, seized the 
opportunity of showing what Greece would 
look like if, owing to difficulties on the 
currant import duty or other vexed question, 
it was compelled to go to war. 

In the ab- 
sence of this 
picturesque 
'figure, the 
Diplomatic circle this 
year supplied another 
striking personality of 
quite a different style. 
His round, full face was 
black as night. His 
head was covered with 
material which, in the 
case of Uncle Ned 
before he laid down the 
shovel and the hoe, was 
shortly described as 
" wool." He wore a uni- 
form that was a happy 
compromise between 
the garb of a general, 
an admiral, and a band- 



"MR. JOHN- 
SON" OF 
PICCADILLY. 



224 



THE STRAND MAGAZINE. 



master. A lady inquiring of a young but 
highly esteemed personage at the Foreign 
Office who the stranger was, was told it was 
" Mr. Johnson of the Christy Minstrels." 

This flippancy received apparent confirma- 
tion from a cheerful habit indulged in by the 
foreign guest of audibly humming a tune as 
he surveyed the ever-changing crowd. It 
seemed possible that at any moment after 
this preparatory exercise he might break forth 
into the ordered harmony of " O ! dem golden 
slippers," or " Way down upon 
de Swanny River." The dis- 
tinguished stranger was ; how- 
ever, none other than the 
emissary of the Republic of 
Hayti at the Court of the 
Queen of England and Empress 
of India. 

A Minister I met 

A TRAGEDY .., , . ., , 

at the birthday party 

BUTTONS. . , ., 

re-enter ed the 
Foreign Office on these occa- 
sions without melancholy reflec- 
tions on his earliest experience. 
It happened that his appoint- 
ment to Ministerial office exactly 
coincided with opportunity to 
appear at the birthday party, for 
the first time in Ministerial 
uniform. There was not much 
time to spare for preparation. 
But the tailor faithfully promised 
that the uniform should be deli- .< ,. 

vered for the eventful occasion. 
The parcel had not arrived by dinner-time on 
the appointed day, and things began to look 
gloomy. The Minister waited on in hope, 
reflecting that if it came to the worst he might 
go in ordinary evening clothes. Still, on 




such an occasion he would like to wear the 
unwonted uniform. 

Just as he had given up hope and was 
mournfully surveying his modest claw-hammer 
coat, a messenger arrived from the tailor with 
the precious bundle. The Minister hastily 
but satisfactorily dressed, and got to the 
Foreign Office in such good time that he 
was able to make his way up the compara- 
tively uncrowded staircase in considerably 
under a quarter of an hour. 

As he walked about the 
reception - room he was con- 
scious of being an object of 
marked attention. That was 
not unexpected — was indeed, 
as he felt, his due. He was a 
new and, he hoped, a popular 
Minister, wearing for the first 
time a novel, and, he had reason 
to believe, a becoming uniform. 
Still, it was odd that everyone 
should turn round to look at 
him, and he was uncomfortably 
conscious of a smile broaden- 
ing as he passed along. 

" My dear fellow," said a 
colleague, gently taking his arm 
and leading him to a recess, 
" for goodness' sake let me take 
these bits of paper off the 
buttons at the back of your 
coat." 

The wretched tailor, in send- 
ing the coat home, had omitted 
to remove the bits of soft 
paper that guarded the gilt buttons from 
harm. The hapless Minister, hurriedly 
dressing, had not noted the carelessness, 
and for nearly an hour had strutted thiough 
the brilliant scene thus curiously adorned. 



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